Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

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

Our team is here to support you

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


Melody Markle

Melody Markle

Supervisor

 Bio and Contact

Kwey Kwey! My name is Melody and I’m an Algonquin from Long Point (Winneway) First Nation in Quebec. I was born into the Bear clan and have many ties to my Anishnaabe family. I am dedicated to creating a supportive and healthy learning environment for you and your peers. In my spare time I enjoy beading, hand drum singing and sharing beautiful teachings of the Original people of Turtle Island.

Melody Markle
250-371-5972
Cplul’kw’ten (House 5) Room GP 126


Vernie Clement

Vernie Clement

Indigenous Mentor and Community Coordinator

 Bio and Contact

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

Vernie is responsible for The Indigenous Mentor Program which was designed to assist new students (1st and 2nd year) with a successful transition into Thompson Rivers University (TRU). The program also offers training and development for the Indigenous Mentors (Mentors), who will work together in small groups. Mentoring can happen in different forms (One-to-one, groups, events, workshops, etc.) and based on individual student needs.

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 a member of the First Nations Student Association (Vice-president for 2 years and President for 3 years). I hope students will feel welcomed and have a positive experience with their educational journeys, and that the work we do with this mentor program will help them in that way.

Please feel free to ask how you can be involved. As a new student, you can request to have a mentor that will help you get through those initial stages of transition to University life.
Come visit us at Cplul’kw’ten.
‘Aw’et Zeh

Vernie Clement
250-852-7838
Cplul’kw’ten (House 5) Room GP 226


Shawna Walker

Shawna Walker

Learning Strategist - Indigenous Liaison

 Bio and Contact

Shawna will be covering for Jason Blair during his leave. Shawna will be working 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
250-371-5508
Cplul’kw’ten (House 5)


Denise Dunstan

Denise Dunstan

Learning Strategist

 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)


Skylar Sitka Sage

Skylar Sitka Sage

Registered Clinical Counsellor

 Bio and Contact

Skylar has been dedicated to cultivating individual and community capacity for over 23 years as a counsellor, educator, and community psychology practitioner. She is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) with an MA from Adler University. Her interests lie in the relationship between social systems, the environment and individual well-being. Her practice is trauma/violence-informed, intentionally integrating therapies such as Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) and DBT/MBCT (Mindfulness-Based CBT) to address the unique circumstances of each individual and situation. Skylar supports the academic success and personal growth of TRU students through individual and group counselling as well as psycho-educational/experiential workshops. As a member of the Secwepemc Nation she grew up locally, but for the past few decades she lived on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples in Vancouver. As an Indigenous counsellor she values inclusivity and diversity — all ages, genders, sexual orientations, cultures, and abilities are welcome.

Transformation can be a revitalizing process, but that does not mean we need to be constantly making drastic changes. Building capacity means being able to imagine the life, work and community you want and taking a step towards that vision every day. Skylar’s aim is to listen, ask questions, and offer what she can to support your goals. Learning is a lifelong journey. Let’s walk together.

Skylar is located in the House of Learning within the community-oriented space of the All My Relations Research Network. Office: HL 146

All appointments can be made directly via email ssitkasage@tru.ca or to book a preferred spot ASAP, please call the counselling office front desk at 250-828-5023.


Cara Basil

Cara Basil

Qelmucw Student Recruiter - Advisor

 Bio and Contact

Cara is a member of the Secwepemc Nation and grew up in Bonaparte—one of 17 communities in Secwepemcul’ecw. In 2017, Cara graduated from Thompson Rivers University, with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She also completed an Indigenous Studies Certificate concurrent with her degree. Aside from her love of research, she is deeply passionate about continuing her learning of all Indigenous peoples.

Since 2015, Cara has served as an elected councillor for her community. As Indigenous Student Recruiter—Advisor, she is proud to work in her Nation and join an amazing team that encourages and guides students towards their educational pursuits. As the granddaughter of two Residential School survivors, Cara strives to share their legacy and empower individuals and communities in moving forward.

In her spare time, Cara enjoys being with family and friends, discovering new books, exploring Canada and participating in activities that support her love of lifelong learning.

You can do anything you set your mind and heart to.

Kukstsetsemc!

Cara Basil
250-828-5006
Old Main 1468


Joanne Brown

Joanne Brown

On leave