The deep relationship between the Secwepemc people and the traditional lands on which TRU resides is now commemorated on campus with a First Nations territorial marker. Created by Secwepemc artists Rod and Ron Tomma and Mike Peters, the glossy stone territorial marker was installed this month in the revamped north entrance to Old Main, where the glassed-in elevator climbs to the new fourth floor.
Territorial markers hold great meaning for the Secwepemc. They are significant land forms and rocks that sometimes represented places of mythological happenings, or designated boundary areas. They often involved mythological beings or animals of traditional significance, such as the coyote. TRU’s territorial marker is made from a rare form of quartz and adorned with pictographs.
“This territorial marker will inspire an appreciation of the land in which we live and learn in partnership with Aboriginal people,” said TRU President and Vice-Chancellor Alan Shaver, who formally announced the installation during the official opening of the Faculty of Law’s new space in Old Main on June 14.
The ceremony included a presentation of gifts to the Secwepemc Nation from Law graduates Miranda Schmold and Chris Albinati of the Indigenous Law Students Association, who proposed the territorial marker and presentation of gifts to TRU last fall. An informal blessing of the site was performed earlier in the evening by Elder Evelyn Camille.