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Talisman donates $35,000 towards Aboriginal Gathering Space at Fort St. John Campus

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FORT ST. JOHN – A generous donation from Talisman Energy Inc. has allowed Northern Lights College to install a ventilation system in the new Aboriginal Gathering Space at the Fort St. John Campus.

The $35,000 donation covers the cost of the equipment and installation. The ventilation equipment allows the College to host traditional cultural ceremonies, such as smudging, within the Gathering Space.

Talisman’s donation was recognized during the opening ceremonies for the Gathering Space on Oct. 27. Talisman representatives for British Columbia – Dan Glover (Community Engagement Advisor) and Paul Perkins (Senior Community Engagement Advisor) – were on hand for a presentation to NLC President Laurie Rancourt and Aboriginal Education Coordinator Brandee Stewart.

Talisman has been a longtime supporter of Aboriginal education at NLC, including sponsoring a number of student awards and bursaries through the NLC Foundation.

“Talisman is committed to supporting post-secondary education at NLC, and we understand the value that Aboriginal education programming in these institutions brings, both in terms of its positive impact on local Aboriginal communities and in building capacity for community members to participate in our business,” said Jennifer Findlay, Talisman’s Team Lead for Stakeholder Relations in British Columbia. “Our sponsorship of the Aboriginal Gathering Space is consistent with our belief that having traditional culture incorporated into this programming provides a critical support for students throughout their educational journeys.”

The donation is part of a larger contribution towards Aboriginal education at NLC. Talisman also donated $35,000 towards a ventilation system for the Aboriginal Gathering Space at the Chetwynd Campus. The Chetwynd Gathering Space was opened on Sept. 30.

“Being able to participate in important ceremonies, such as smudging, within the Gathering Space provides our Aboriginal students with the opportunity to feel a little more comfortable while attending college,” said Laurie Rancourt, President of NLC. “Talisman Energy has been a long-time supporter of students at Northern Lights College, and we would like to thank Talisman for participating in this new opportunity to enhance student life.”

Aboriginal Gathering Spaces have been constructed at the Fort Nelson, Chetwynd, Fort St. John and Dawson Creek campuses. The original impetus for the projects came from funding from the Province of British Columbia.

The Gathering Spaces are designed to enhance support services for their growing number of Aboriginal students attending at NLC. The Gathering Spaces include study and relaxation areas, kitchen facilities, and Aboriginal artwork and themes. The rooms use colours and textures that evoke the four elements – fire, water, earth and wind.


Dan Glover of Talisman presents a cheque to NLC President Laurie Rancourt (right) and Board Chair Edith Leer to cover the cost of ventilation in the Aboriginal Gathering Space at the Fort St. John Campus.