COTR unveils Indigenous artwork at Cranbrook campus

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Indigenizing physical spaces on campus will improve student experience

College of the Rockies’ Cranbrook campus has been made more inclusive with the addition of an Indigenous art project. The artwork, consisting of a series of elements which cover three of the walls in the lecture theatre, was created by Darcy Roshau of the Ktunaxa Nation in collaboration with the College’s Indigenous Education department, Elders, and Indigenous students.

“All students should feel welcome, and our campuses need to reflect who our students are and the traditional territory in which we are situated,” said Dana Wesley, Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy and Reconciliation. “We are deeply grateful to Darcy for transforming our vision into this beautiful and meaningful artwork.”

The art pieces offer a glimpse into the vibrant culture of the Ktunaxa people, celebrating the traditional activities that have sustained these communities for generations.

“This artwork is inspired by ʔa·kxamis q̓api qapsin (All Living Things),” Roshau said. “The presence of water throughout the piece symbolizes its vital role as the source of life for all beings – plants, animals, and humans. In response to the Elders’ request, I aimed to highlight cultural practices such as hide tanning. Additionally, I wanted to emphasize the significance of plants and animals which are either medicine or food sources. I believe this artwork captures significant aspects of our Ktunaxa identity, showcasing the beauty and richness of ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa.”

Roshau’s artistic journey began at a young age, where she explored various mediums and techniques as a self-taught artist. She excels in both digital art, mural creation, logo design, and traditional Ktunaxa forms such as beadwork and sewing. Her diverse portfolio reflects her deep connection to Ktunaxa cultural elements, with a focus on fostering appreciation for ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa. Darcy’s impactful murals adorn several locations across ʔamakʔis Ktunaxa, including the Invermere & District Hospital and Mount Baker Secondary School.

Funding for Roshau’s stunning artwork pieces was generously provided by Columbia Basin Trust, which supports enhancements that directly and positively impact the quality, availability and uniqueness of the student experience at College of the Rockies.

The artwork was expertly installed in the College’s Lecture Theatre by Sidekick Stickers.

Learn more about Indigenous Education at College of the Rockies.


About College of the Rockies

For half a century, College of the Rockies has been an educational leader in the East Kootenay region, providing post-secondary education to empower and meet the needs of our citizens and communities. All College campuses are located on the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa people, which is also home to the Kinbasket people. Five First Nation bands are in the College region, four of which are Ktunaxa and one Shuswap. The College also partners with the Kootenay Regional Office of the Métis Nation, BC. Each year, we welcome more than 10,000 full-time and part-time students into a full range of programs. Through smaller class sizes, highly personalized instruction and dedicated support services, our students are primed to succeed in the job market, or in the next stage of their academic journey.

Media Contact:
Darryl Dux
Communications Coordinator
College of the Rockies