Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre

Spring 2018


Lori Campbell reveals a pop up banner with new brand Shatitsirótha’ means “reigniting the flame” in Kanien’keha (Mohawk language) – and that’s what is happening at the newly renamed Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC). Formerly the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre, the space has not only adopted an Indigenous name, but is also renewing its energy on supporting and connecting with Indigenous students.

“Across Canada, we are seeing a shift in terminology used to identify the collective group of those who identify as First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. The term in place has been ‘Aboriginal’ and the shift has been to ‘Indigenous,’” said Lori Campbell, Director of the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre.

“The addition of Shatitsirótha’ to the name is not only connected to the opening of the Ceremonial Fire Grounds, but it also represents renewed energy and a sense of connection to the Centre space itself,” Campbell added. “It is also timely as the University of Waterloo embarks on working on its Indigenization strategy.”

The Centre provides support and resources for current Indigenous students, educational outreach programs for Indigenous communities, lectures, events, an annual Pow Wow, and social campus events such as Soup and Bannock lunches.

Shatitsirótha’ is pronounced shah-tee-gee-roh-ta.

All female singing group perform with traditional hand drum

The Shatitsirótha’ Singers perform at Waterloo Global Science Initiative Summit.


From November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

In recognition of the 16 Days, the staff and students in the WISC honoured approximately 1,400 murdered and missing Indigenous women by asking members of the campus community to write names on red ties which were then hung on the bridge to main campus.

Indigenous dancers wearing brightly colored regalia get ready to perform


Ceremonial Fire Grand Opening and Celebration of National Indigenous People’s Day – June 21

For the first time, the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre will host a large on-campus celebration on National Indigenous People’s Day on June 21. The event will take place adjacent to the newly built ceremonial fire and medicine garden and will include attendees and support from all six Faculties and four Colleges of the University of Waterloo. It’s estimated that more than 400 staff, faculty and students will attend the picnic and celebration.

15th Annual Traditional Pow Wow – September 22

Staff and students in the WISC are working hard to plan the 15th Annual Traditional Pow Wow scheduled for September 22, 2018 in Waterloo Park. For the past few years the Pow Wow has taken place in the park in partnership with the City of Waterloo and attendance has been on the rise. The event regularly attracts close to 2,000 attendees each year.