Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Elder in the House Program

Elder in the House Program

In the Elder in the House Program, elders are available at the TRU Kamloops and Williams Lake Cplul’kw’ten. They provide personal consultation, conversation, guidance and mentorship to Indigenous students.

To engage with students, elders use traditional Indigenous life skills perspectives and methods such as the ‘talking circle’ and elder knowledge. TRU elders have a demonstrated belief in the value of education and a record of supporting Indigenous students in their educational success.

What is an elder?

An elder is an older Indigenous person who adopts the role of a surrogate grandmother or grandfather. Elders possess a wealth of knowledge and life experiences with specific expertise in Indigenous culture that they are eager to share with the younger generations.

What is the Elder in the House program?

Elders are available at Cplul’kw’ten and provide personal consultation, conversation, guidance and mentorship to Indigenous students. Elders engage with students using a variety of traditional Indigenous life skill methods including: the ‘talking circle’ and elder knowledge. TRU elders have a demonstrated belief in the value of education and a record of supporting Indigenous students in their educational success.

These elders rotate days so there is an elder at Cplul’kw’ten every day of the week. If you would like to spend some time with an elder, drop into Cplul’kw’ten.


Our elders

five elders

Estella, Doreen, Margaret, Mike and Cecilia

Estella Patrick Moller, Nakazdli First Nation

KAMLOOPS CAMPUS
Fluent in the Carrier language, Elder Estella shares her knowledge of traditions and ceremonies as well as healing, medicine and meditation.

Doreen Kenoras, Adams Lake Indian Band

KAMLOOPS CAMPUS
Skilled in beading, knitting and birch-bark basket making, Elder Doreen enjoys meeting new students and watching them graduate and go on to successful careers.

Dr. Margaret Vickers Hyslop, Tsimshian and Heiltsuk people

KAMLOOPS CAMPUS
Passionate about body/mind/soul/spirit healing, Elder Dr. Margaret Vickers Hyslop is a retired teacher, counsellor and therapist who has endeavoured to bridge the gap between dominant culture and Indigenous communities.

Mike Arnouse, Adams Lake Indian Band

KAMLOOPS CAMPUS
Elder Mike speaks softly but has lots to teach about the history of Indigenous people and ancestral teachings.

Cecilia DeRose, Alkali Lake Indian Band

WILLIAMS LAKE CAMPUS
An expert in Secwépemctsin language and culture, and in traditional and medicinal plants, Elder Cecilia is also known for her handiwork with hides, birch-bark baskets and beads and for sharing that knowledge with others.