Campus Life - Kamloops  

TRU appoints respected BC educational leader as new chancellor

KAMLOOPS – Thompson Rivers University (TRU) is delighted to announce the appointment of DeDe DeRose as the university’s new chancellor, with her term commencing on March 1.

DeRose, a prominent advocate for Indigenous education and a figure deeply embedded in the educational landscape of British Columbia, steps into this prestigious role with a wealth of experience and a history of significant contributions to Indigenous student success.

Born in Williams Lake to a Secwépemc family, DeDe is a member of the Esk’etemc First Nation. Her Secwépemc name is Tse7ekw te Spi7uw (Sunrise Golden Eagle), which means Divine Spirit giving warmth, light and life.

DeRose’s distinguished career includes her tenure as B.C.’s first superintendent of Aboriginal Achievement and her role as an educator and principal within Kamloops-Thompson School District 73. Her advocacy for the inclusion of Indigenous languages, history, and culture in the curriculum has been instrumental in fostering a more inclusive and comprehensive educational environment.

Marilyn McLean, chair of TRU’s Board of Governors, praised DeRose’s exceptional leadership abilities and her unwavering commitment to educational excellence and community engagement. Brett Fairbairn, TRU president and vice-chancellor, emphasized DeRose’s embodiment of TRU’s core values, particularly her dedication to Indigenous education and her efforts to promote intercultural understanding.

DeRose’s commitment to education extends beyond her professional roles. She has been an influential member of various boards and committees, including the UBC President’s Advisory Board for Indigenous People and the Verna J. Kirkness Foundation. Her work has consistently aimed at improving educational outcomes for Indigenous students and enhancing community involvement in education.

Among her many accolades, DeRose has been recognized for her contributions to education with awards such as the inaugural Teacher Educator Award from the Association of BC Deans of Education. Her appointment as TRU’s new chancellor is a testament to her impactful career and her vision for a future where education is accessible and inclusive for all.

Reflecting on her appointment, DeRose expressed honour and excitement at the opportunity to serve as chancellor. She emphasized the importance of TRU’s role in the community and its commitment to sustainability, excellence, and the provision of a broad range of programs and opportunities for open learning.

As chancellor, DeRose will preside over convocation ceremonies and serve as a member of the university’s board of governors and senate, continuing to inspire and lead in the promotion of education and community development.

DeRose succeeds Nathan Mathew as TRU’s chancellor, whose term has ended. She will be formally installed in a ceremony later this spring.

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TRU hosts national Indigenous law moot

Law students from across Canada are gathering at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) to compete in one of the country’s top Indigenous law events — a first for the Kamloops university.

On Friday, March 8, and Saturday, March 9, the 2024 Kawaskimhon National Aboriginal Moot brings together experts in Indigenous law, and students and coaches from 20 law schools across the country.

This outstanding event coincides with the 10th anniversary of TRU Law’s first graduating class.

“The event allows students, coaches and guests to experience the traditional territory of the Tk?emlúps te Secwépemc and visit the amazing TRU campus,” says Murray Sholty, a teaching professor in the Faculty of Law and the Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics.

“To be a part of this event as a former TRU Law student, now a moot coach and newly appointed tenure-track assistant teaching professor, and an organizer of this year’s event, is truly an honour.”

Will TRU Law add hardware from this year’s Kawashimhon National Aboriginal Moot to its collection?

Local issue with personal ties

Students will delve deeply into relevant matters happening within the local Secwépemc Nation, he adds.

This year’s moot problem focuses on the Trans Mountain Corporation’s planned pipeline deviation on the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation lands near Pípsell, a cultural heritage site south of Kamloops (also known as Jacko Lake). The Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation originally consisted of eight tribes, of which two remain: Tk’emlups and Skeetchestn.

It’s a local issue with personal ties— especially for this year’s TRU Law moot coaches.

Chrystie Stewart is from Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. She is also a TRU Law alum, lawyer at Stewart & Springford LLP and guest speaker at the event. Sholty’s roots are with Hagwilget Village and he was raised in Fort Fraser; both communities have connections to issues surrounding natural resource projects including the Coastal GasLink, forestry and mining.

Accepting the call to action

Stewart and Sholty balanced their team guidance duties with successful lobbying to bring this year’s Kawaskimhon Moot to Kamloops.

“Dean Daleen Millard immediately recognized that this event was in alignment with TRU Law’s Indigenous initiatives and did not hesitate to green light going after the event being held here,” says Sholty.

The event ties into the TRU Faculty of Law welcoming the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and accepting the Call to Action #28, he says.

“Call to Action #28 called upon law schools across Canada to require all law students to take a course in Aboriginal people and the law including the history and legacy of residential schools in Canada, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law and Aboriginal-Crown relations,” he says.

“The event also puts TRU Law’s Indigenous courses and content into action at the national level.”

Experience beyond classroom

Sholty knows firsthand what students gain from participating in a national moot because he was part of TRU Law’s first graduating class and attended the 2013 moot as part of his program experience.

“The event is important for students,” he says. “They develop research and writing skills along with table negotiation skills. They examine issues that include real-life projects that directly impact local people and the area. Thus, replicating what they will be doing once they are done law school and practicing law.

“Students also learn how to remain impartial when approaching controversial issues and get the opportunity to establish lifelong networks with other students from across Canada who have a passion for this area of law.”

The TRU team consists of third year law students Abigail Falk, Anisha Grewal, Eric Rogers, Henry Wearmouth and Shannon Tan and coaches Stewart and Sholty.

Special guests at the moot include:

  • Chief Justice Leonard S. Marchand, chief justice of British Columbia
  • Judge Linda Thomas, Provincial Court of British Columbia
  • Judge Raymond Phillips, Provincial Court of British Columbia
  • Dean Daleen Millard, Faculty of Law — Thompson Rivers University
  • Kory Wilson, chair — BC First Nations Justice Council
  • Amanda Carling, CEO — BC First Nations Justice Council
  • Chrystie Stewart, lawyer — Stewart & Springford LLP
  • Charlotte Rose, lawyer — Qwelmínte Secwépemc Office

Moot sponsors include:

  • Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP
  • BC First Nations Justice Council
  • Stewart & Springford LLP
  • First Peoples Law LLP
  • Ratcliff LLP
  • CN
  • Clio Legal Software
  • Miller Titerle + Company
  • Forward Law LLP
  • Woodward and Company LLP
  • Michael Reed Law Corporation
  • RJ Toor RE/MAX Real Estate
  • Terra Timber

Renowned activist explores sustainability and food advocacy in TRU justice lecture

KAMLOOPS — A global leader in the movement against corporate control of the world’s food systems tackles food sovereignty and sustainability in this year’s Dean of Arts Distinguished Lecture on Human Rights and Social Justice at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).

In conjunction with TRU’s interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Human Rights and Social Justice program, Dr. Vandana Shiva is coming to the university to give a free lecture on the need to advocate for food security through saving seeds.

Her lecture, Earth Rights, Human Rights and Food Rights, connects like-minded individuals passionate about making a difference through advocacy and informed action around pressing global environmental, social and legal issues.

“Food is a weapon,” said Shiva in the documentary film, The Seeds of Vandana Shiva.

“When you sell real weapons, you control armies. When you control food, you control society. But when you control seeds, you control life on earth. We have a duty to save seeds.”

Shiva is one of the most prominent and powerful environmental and feminist activists in the world. She creates the transformative change she wants to see by raising ecological awareness and actively resisting the genetic modification of organisms by growing, saving and distributing organic seeds.

She is the founder of the public interest research organization known as the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, and the Navdanya movement for Earth democracy which protects biodiversity, defends farmers’ rights and promotes organic farming.

Central to her human rights and social justice work is fighting for seed sovereignty through establishing community seed banks available to farmers after natural disasters, protecting living soil, and challenging biopiracy of traditional knowledge and indigenous biodiversity including climate resistant crops.

This is the second year for this free, annual lecture. The event is in person and open to students, alumni, faculty and the public. Registration through Eventbrite is requested ASAP as space is limited.

Date: Tuesday, March 19
Time: 7 – 9 p.m.
Location: Campus Activity Centre, Grand Hall (second floor)
Free parking is available on-site: Lot H, Lot N and Lot NT

About Dr. Vandana Shiva:

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a renowned and highly awarded environmental activist, ecofeminist scholar, advocate for food sovereignty and anti-globalization author. In 2010, Forbes Magazine identified Shiva as one of seven of the world’s most powerful feminists working on social issues around the globe. She is the founder of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology and Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources. Shiva holds a PhD in quantum theory from the University of Western Ontario. She is the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award (1993), Sydney Peace Prize (2010), Fukuoka Award (2012), MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity (2016) and the Veerangana Award (2018).

Support the ‘Pack at Evening of Champions

Former Humboldt Broncos player Kaleb Dahlgren shares his story of gratitude and resilience at the TRU WolfPack Evening of Champions on Tuesday, March 12. Proceeds from the event will benefit student-athletes through crucial scholarships that sustain them throughout their studies and competition.  

Purchase tickets

Dahlgren is an athlete, bestselling author, community leader and survivor of the 2018 Humboldt bus crash. Described as “a story of courage” by Wayne Gretzky, Dahlgren’s memoir, Crossroads, documents a life of perseverance, gratitude and hope in spite of hardship and tragedy.  

“I have had the privilege of reading Kaleb’s book and have heard him speak live,” says Director of Athletics and Recreation Curtis Atkinson, who approached Dahlgren earlier in 2023 to speak at TRU. “I know attendees will enjoy an inspiring message.” 

Dahlgren is a diabetes and mental-health advocate, a mentor and a community builder as well as a dedicated student currently pursuing his dream of becoming a chiropractor. 

The Evening of Champions (formerly the WolfPack Scholarship Breakfast) takes place at the TRU Campus Activity Centre Tuesday, March 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring appetizers, beverages and games, in addition to the much-anticipated keynote. 

“The TRU WolfPack Evening of Champions is our most important fundraiser for student-athletes,” says Atkinson. “All proceeds go directly to student-athlete scholarships, which are critical in attracting the best student-athletes to TRU. A ticket purchased for this event is an investment in tomorrow’s leaders.” 

Tickets are available now for the TRU WolfPack Evening of Champions — a fundraiser that will celebrate triumphs, inspire future victories and ensure TRU’s varsity athletes continue to shine on and off the field.

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