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Sneq’wa e’lun – The Blue Heron House

Blue Heron House

“The Blue Heron brings messages of self-determination and self-reliance. They represent an ability to progress and evolve. The long thin legs of the heron reflect that an individual doesn’t need great massive pillars to remain stable, but must be able to stand on one’s own. Blue Herons have the innate wisdom of being able to maneuver through life and co-create their own circumstances. Blue Herons reflect a need for those to follow their own unique wisdom and path of self-determination. These individuals know what is best for themselves and need to follow their hearts rather than the promptings of others. The Blue Heron symbolizes patience, grace, balance, elegance, and determination.” (Symbolism courtesy of Blue Heron and assistance from our local elders)

Sneq’wa (Blue Heron) e’lun (House), is a “home away from home” for Indigenous and Metis students, faculty and staff. Sneq’wa e’lun, is also the home of the office of Indigenous Education and Student Services (IESS).

Although, Blue Heron House is the office of Asma-na-hi Antoine, Manager of IESS, it is also home and a quiet study space for individual Indigenous and Métis students and/or their groups to gather to complete projects or presentations. It will be used for Royal Roads programs and it will serve as the primary location for Indigenous programming, events, ceremonial events, as well as being a focal point for welcoming Indigenous and Metis students on campus.

The house will complement the educational programming that Royal Roads is currently delivering, including a number of continuing studies programs for Indigenous and Metis students and community members and for our faculty and students engaged in a number of research projects related to Indigenous and Metis culture and history.

Sneq’wa e’lun has many amenities to serve students during their residencies, including a kitchen, lounge and resource library.

The space also contains two rooms that can be used for studying and social events:

  • The Resource Room -  suitable for up to 15 people this room contains a large television connected to a computer.
  • The Gathering Room - suitable for up to 60 people, this room is a venue for cultural events. Also containing a big screen television, this room has hosted events including potluck dinners, craft afternoons, film events and an Elders Sharing Circle.

While these spaces are available for Royal Roads faculty, staff and outside community partners to book, priority will be given to Indigenous and Metis students and functions relating to Indigenous and Metis relations.

Due to the limited space and many events that are held in Sneq’wa e’lun (BHH), it cannot be a “drop-in” space. To access the building, schedule an appointment, find out more about IESS or to book the space, please email us or call 250.391.2600 ext 4557.

Please note that the IESS offices are open Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (closed for lunch 12-1pm), unless you have a scheduled appointment.