Help honour the gift of Skw’cháys with the creation of a dedicated home.

Caption With Knowledge Keeper, Ses Siyam—Ray Natraoro as our guide, the Indigenous Student Services (ISS) team invited all CapU students and employees to the Canoe Awakening of Skw’cháys—CapU’s Legacy Canoe
With Knowledge Keeper, Ses Siyam Ray Natraoro as our guide, the Indigenous Student Services (ISS) team invited all CapU students and employees to the Canoe Awakening of Skw’cháys, CapU’s Legacy Canoe.
“There’s a long relationship with Canada and First Nations people and it hasn’t always been the best, and so students need emotional support while they are in University – they may not have that at home. If you feel good about wanting to go to school in the first place, going to your classroom, enjoying your time together, you will learn a lot more.”
– Elder Latash Nahanee

In celebration of Capilano University's 50th anniversary, Squamish Nation Master Carvers Ses Siyam (Ray Natraoro) and Victor Harry created and gifted a traditional Coast Salish canoe as a legacy to future generations and a symbol of the University's commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.

The 30-foot-long seaworthy canoe, named Skw'cháys in the Squamish Nation language, was carved at the North Vancouver campus in the winter of 2019.

Students, employees and the community had a unique opportunity to witness the transformation from a tree to a canoe and to experience firsthand the Coast Salish traditions and culture that connect us to this land.

Supporting Indigenous students at CapU

  • Across Canada, Indigenous students are under-represented in post-secondary education.
  • They are also more likely to leave post-secondary education prematurely compared to their non-Indigenous peers.
  • One way to support the success of Indigenous students is to incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing, teaching, representation and being on campuses.

Our commitment

Capilano University is committed to ensuring Indigenous learners feel supported and valued on their educational journey.

It's time for Skw'cháys to have a permanent home that will honour Indigenous traditions and provide a space to share them with students, employees, visitors and communities.

Built with natural materials and glass, Skw'cháys will always be visible to the campus community as a grounding influence and inspiring presence.

The 1,000-square-foot space will offer an intimate gathering place where traditional wisdom and practices will be shared and revitalized.

Join us in building a permanent home for Skw'cháys.

Donate to A Home for Skw'cháys

Donate now to provide support for the construction of this home.

If you wish to know more, please contact Jennifer Bryan, interim director, philanthropy & alumni relations at jenniferbryan@capilanou.ca or by phone at 236 978 0068.

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Have questions?

Philanthropy & Alumni Relations

604 984 4983
Birch Building, room BR214

Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Capilano University Foundation

604 984 4983
Birch Building, room BR214

Charitable Business Number: 11883 7756 RR0001

Current Foundation Chair: David Ayriss