Board of governors to vote on Indigenous building naming policy

Sometime next year, all TRU campus residences may begin to adopt a second, Indigenous-inspired animal name thanks to a new policy that is set to be voted on in late February, according to a senior TRU administrator.

The proposal was brought forward to the university’s board of governors on Dec. 1 by TRU Vice President Matt Milovick, who said the proposed Indigenous building naming policy was something that had been in the making “for some time.”

“We’ve had our first pilot with this policy,” Milovick said. “We’ve named the new residence; it’s called ‘Skelepellcw,’ which is ‘the Coyote Den.’”

During his presentation, Milovick said that work on the policy has been completed in partnership with TRU’s Office of Indigenous Education and through consultation with various Indigenous language experts from the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc band.

“The policy that you have in the package, there’s been quite a bit of consultation with the executive, with [the office of] Indigenous education, with Ted Gottfriedson,” Milovick said. “We’re pretty happy where this is going. The idea is, eventually, all of our buildings will have an alternate Indigenous name where it makes sense.”

If the new policy is adopted, a committee will be established by the Office of Indigenous Education at TRU that will be responsible for recommending building names. Once received, the office will then forward the proposed names to either the Tk’emlúps band in Kamloops or the T’exelc band in Williams Lake for feedback and recommendations, respective to the campus on which the building is located.

Following final naming approval, the policy will mandate that in addition to both names appearing on the exterior of the building, three versions of campus maps will be made available online featuring one map with English names, a second with Indigenous names and a third with both.

The board of governors will vote on the motion to create the new building naming policy during its first meeting of the new year on Feb. 23.