Shq'apthut elders gathering


Shq’apthut (Building 170) is a gathering place and home away from home for Indigenous students studying on VIU’s Nanaimo campus. The building is open to all students and houses several resources and supports for Indigenous students such as the Elders-in-Residence program, Advising, and Counselling, and more. You will also find the Indigenous Access Coordinators at Shq’apthut who can support students to identify relevant resources and supports on campus, in community, and within the broader Nanaimo community. Shq’apthut contains a new ceremonial space and Elders room and is a great place for peer connection, cultural events, learning, and quiet study. 

For more information please contact 250.740.6510

About our Totems

Three majestic totem poles grace the entrance to Shq’aphut (A Gathering Place). The $50,000 project of the VIU Students’ Union (VIUSU) originally envisioned by VIUSU chairperson Sherry McCarthy began in the spring of 2014 with the selection of three carvers to represent First Nations with close ties and proximity to VIU.

As VIU operates in the tribal territories of the Kwakwaka’wakw, the Coast Salish and the Nuu-chah-nulth, the work of artists from these territories created the poles. 

The idea for a student-led totem pole initiative gained support from a broad base of student supporters and faculty to VIU President and Vice-Chancellor Ralph Nilson.