New Indigenous centre officially opens in north Toronto
Exterior of Odeyto, Seneca's new Indigenous centre at Newnham Campus.
Toronto – Sept. 19, 2018 - Seneca’s new Indigenous centre at Newnham Campus officially opens on Friday during an awakening ceremony.
Named after the Anishnaabe word “Odeyto” – which translates to “the good journey” – the multipurpose facility is the new home of FirstPeoples@Seneca. It is also accessible to members within the broader Indigenous community.
“We are proud of what we have achieved with Odeyto. As an Indigenous teaching, learning and gathering space, it’s a much-needed expansion to accommodate the important work of our staff and faculty supporting our Indigenous students,” says David Agnew, Seneca President. “It also represents the journey our Indigenous students have chosen, coming to Seneca as a temporary stop on their life’s journey.”
Equipped with an office space, a computer lab, a kitchen and dedicated space for Indigenous elders, Odeyto is the only Indigenous hub of its kind between Highway 401 and Barrie, Ontario.
Indigenous culture influenced various aspects of the facility, from its general exterior shape to the details of its interior décor. The space was designed by Gow Hastings and Two Row Architect, a 100% native-owned and operated firm on the Six Nations reserve in southern Ontario.
“The structure looks like a canoe resting on its side and the curvature of the roof mimics the position of the sun on June 21, the annual National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada,” adds Mark Solomon, Associate Dean Student Services and Indigenous Education. “A neon sign created by the Cree visual artist Joi Arcand is among the Indigenized features inside Odeyto. It’s truly a home for our Indigenous students.”
The awakening ceremony also includes activities such as the planting of a tree of peace, drumming and medicinal bag giveaway, with attendees being treated to traditional Indigenous refreshments.
Combining career and professional skills training with theoretical knowledge, Seneca’s expert faculty provide a polytechnic education to 30,000 full-time and 60,000 part-time students. With campuses in Toronto, York Region and Peterborough and education partners around the world, Seneca offers degrees, graduate certificates, diplomas and certificates in more than 300 full-time, part-time and online programs. Seneca’s credentials are renowned for their quality and respected by employers. Co-op and work placements, applied research projects, entrepreneurial opportunities and the latest technology ensure that Seneca graduates are highly skilled and ready to work.
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