With the support of the Provincial Government the College of New Caledonia announced a new Indigenous Student housing project.

Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, Melanie Mark said the project is a $2.6-million milestone achievement, a decade in the making.

“When we talk about reconciliation and action, the calls to action is just that. It is a call to action for all of us to step up to the plate and cultivate conditions that will help students survive.”

The new building will have a culturally inclusive design with 12 beds and an elder on sight.

Approximately 20 per cent of students enrolled at CNC are indigenous.

President of CNC Henry Reiser said a project like this is going to help indigenous students focus on school.

“Many indigenous students arrive from rural and remote communities and don’t have experience securing, rentals, utilities, and community services. By the time the students settle into an apartment, they can simply be overwhelmed and well behind in their academic studies.”

Damon Robinson, an indigenous student at CNC, said when he first started school, he did not realize the effect not being around his community and culture would have. He added before he found support on campus the separation put him the brink of dropping out.

“My hope for this aboriginal housing project is that it develops a community and gives students like me an opportunity to not have to go without that presence of being indigenous and their culture.”