Current Students

Join us at Cplul'kw'ten — the gathering place

We would love meet you. We have people and resources to support your studies. Or you can just come and hang out.
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Cplul'kw'ten

Indigenous Student Development team is here to support you

Email: indigenous@tru.ca | Phone: 250-371-5854 | Fax: 250-377-6077


Vernie Clement

Vernie Clement

Supervisor

 Bio and Contact

Vernie belongs to the Lhoosk’uz Dene and is Dakelh. He was raised by his grandmother first in Tl’esqox (a Tŝilhqot'in community), and then moved to the isolated community of Lheyidli (Kluskus IR#14). After moving to Kamloops, he graduated from Norkam Secondary and continued on to University College of the Cariboo (now TRU).

Vernie is Supervisor of Indigenous Student Development, which serves First Nations (status/non-status), Inuit and Metis students. Vernie works with the team in Cplul’kw’ten and supports student retention activities. The supervisor oversees projects, maintains service levels, advocates, initiates programs, and acts as a liaison between on-campus and community partners with the goal of facilitating the personal, social and intellectual development of Indigenous students. Vernie also oversees practicum and work study students, and the Elder in the House program.

Note to students:
Dahooja! (Hello) I am honoured to live and work here on Secwepemcw ulcw and to be working with the Indigenous community here at TRU. I have been involved with TRU/UCC for a number of years both as a student (BBA) and as president for three years of the First Nations Student Association (vice-president for two years). I hope students will feel welcomed and have a positive experience with their educational journeys, and that the work we do will help in that way.

Please feel free come visit us at Cplul’kw’ten.
‘Aw’et Zeh

Vernie Clement
250-371-5972
Cplul’kw’ten (House 5) Room GP 224


Jason Blair

Jason Blair

Learning Strategist - Indigenous Liaison

 Bio and Contact

Born in Vancouver and raised in various urban centres across BC, Jason is Nlaka’pamux from the Lower Nicola Indian Band located in Merritt, BC. His Grandparents are Mary and Jacob Anderson/Amy Mike and Albert Dunstan.
Jason attended the Native Education Centre, in Vancouver, with an education in Criminology and Film making. Mr. Blair possesses a diverse resume having worked in numerous job markets ranging from hospitality, trades, and human service work to business owner.
Jason works at Cplul’kw’ten as part a dynamic team to support student’s journey through the post-secondary landscape which is not only academic. By connecting students with various community and off campus resources as well as finding housing. Locating and securing funding when students are not funded by their Band, Metis Society, Or Inuit organization. Identifying and sharing current scholarships, grants and bursaries with students. In addition; he will assist students through the application process.
Jason is a voracious consumer of cinematic adventure and music. He enjoys playing guitar and hockey as well as photography and film making. In addition; he finds inspiration in the stylings of Edgar Allen Poe, George Orwell, Joseph Conrad, and Hunter S Thompson.

Jason Blair
250-371-5508


Shawna Walker

Shawna Walker (On leave)

Learning Strategist - Indigenous Liaison

 Bio and Contact

Shawna works alongside the amazing team at Cplul’kw’ten to support students by developing life skills programming, connecting students with community and off-campus resources, and coaching Indigenous students through their academic journey.

She has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria and has been in the field since 2007. She has worked in a broad array of areas from School District #73 to Child and Family Services in Merritt, Lytton and Kamloops. Shawna’s community connections, human services experience and cultural pride will serve her well.

Born and raised in Kamloops, Shawna is from the Peguis Band in Manitoba. Her kind, calm and caring nature; welcoming and warm smile; and professional demeanor has made her a hit with students in Cplul’kw’ten.

Shawna enjoys literature, cinema and theatre; she leads an active lifestyle and likes to hike, run, kayak, snowshoe, and enjoys playing hockey.

Shawna Walker
250-852-7838
Cplul’kw’ten (House 5)


Denise Dunstan

Denise Dunstan (On leave)

Learning Strategist - Indigenous Transitions

 Bio and Contact

From the Nlakapamux nation, Denise received her social work degree from TRU in 2010.

She has worked with youth programming for the past twenty-five years. Twelve years were spent working with Aboriginal students through the Kamloops School District. Denise was a First Nations worker for School District 83 for over three years. This is her first position at TRU.

Her hobbies include hot yoga and hiking, and Denise also enjoys watching television.

Denise Dunstan
250-371-5854
Cplul’kw’ten (House 5)


Mathilda Chillihitzia

Mathilda Chillihitzia

Indigenous Mentor & Community Coordinator

 Bio and Contact

Mathilda is from the Upper Nicola Band, Douglas Lake, in the Sylix (Okanagan) territory. Mathilda, also known as Matty, loves learning and meeting new people. Her outgoing nature means she’s easy to get along with.

Mathilda graduated from TRU in October 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Major in Geography and a Minor in History. She plans on continuing her academic career by applying for her masters or possibly working toward a PhD.

As the Indigenous Mentor and Community Coordinator, Mathilda will work closely with Vernie and the Learning Strategists in Cplul’kw’ten to coordinate the Indigenous Mentor Program, and engage in community and on-campus events. She will oversee the recruitment, training, day-to-day tasks, and reporting of several mentors who are matched up with mentees. Mathilda will also build community connections and support on-campus Indigenous events.

Mathilda knows the Indigenous Mentor Program first-hand as she started as a mentee and then moved to being a mentor for several years. She also went to Australia on to study abroad and upon her return, became a Study Abroad Ambassador. Mathilda has worked extensively with youth in her home community as a Youth Coordinator, Teacher Assistant, and with the Youth Worker Experience Program.

Mathilda Chillihitzia
250-828-5188
Cplul'kw'ten (House 4)

 

Ashley MacLellan

Ashley MacLellan

Learning Strategist - Indigenous Transitions

 Bio and Contact

Ashley is North Slave Métis, Yellowknives Dene First Nations as well as mixed European descent from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She graduated from the University of Victoria in August 2019 with a degree in English and professional communications. She is a guest today in beautiful Secwépemc'ulucw.

She currently works in Cplul’kw’ten along the amazing Indigenous Student Development team as a Learning Strategist. Ashley believes strong student support was a major factor in being able to complete her degree so far from home, so she hopes to offer this sense of community to the current students at TRU. From support in navigating resources, to just having someone to talk to at the university, please know as a student you do not have to figure it all out all on your own!   

In her spare time, Ashley loves to dance, run and read.

Mahsi Cho

Ashley MacLellan
250-371-5854
House 5
Yellowknives Dene First Nations


Joanne Brown

Joanne Brown

Retired

 

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