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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University


Elder in the House

Elders are available for appointments from Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. during the fall and winter semesters. » Request an Elder

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 skills including: the ‘talking circle’ and Elder knowledge. If you would like to spend some time with an Elder, drop into Cplul’kw’ten.

Elder Hours
Day Elder Hours
Monday Leona (Doe) Thomas 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Tuesday Sid Peltier 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Wednesday Alternating Schedule 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Thursday Joanne Mary Brown 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Friday Mike Arnouse 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.


During the fall and winter semesters, the Indigenous mentor program assists new students with a successful transition to TRU.

Mentors are trained to work independently and collaboratively with students. Mentoring happens one-to-one, in groups, at events and in workshops.

If you are interested in working with a mentor, you can apply by filling in the request form below.

Indigenous Student Mentor Application Form

For more information about the program please contact:

Lex Edwards
Indigenous Mentor and Communications Coordinator
Cplul'kw'ten (House 4)

Marie Sandy

Indigenous mentors

  • Perry Erickson

    Perry Erickson, Nuxalkmc


    Program: Third year Bachelor of Social Work

    About me: Yaw smatmcuks (Hello friends). My name is Perry Erickson. I am Nuxalkmc from Bella Coola which is located within the traditional and unceded ancestral territories of the Nuxalk Nation.

    I am also Carrier from my father’s side, from the Fort St. James area.

    I been here in Kamloops for about 6 years now. In my third year of University doing the Bachelor of Social Work program. My academic journey has greatly challenged me, I am still a work in progress. I love what education has done for me in terms of looking at the broader social issues. It made me reflect and I am grateful for the transformation of perspective this journey has given me.

    I look forward to seeing everyone around campus. I will be around Cplul’kw’ten, hopefully we will have a chance to chat and I hope you connect with the other mentors as well. I am here to offer any help I can but I find myself learning more from your thoughts, stories and perspectives.

  • Robert Edward

    Robert Edward, Similkameen/Syilx


    Program: Natural Resource Science

    About me: Hi, My name is Robert Edward and I am Similkameen/Syilx from Keremeos, British Columbia. As a Syilx person, I care very much about the land I come from and hope to learn as much as I can from my program, so that I can contribute to the stewardship of my territory. I also enjoy singing. I’ve been singing at powwows for 14 years and, as a member of the TRU Drum Club, I hope to share and learn songs with other students.

    I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a mentor and hope to meet you all soon.

  • Olivia Lane

    Olivia Lane, Métis


    Program: Fourth year Bachelor of Psychology, Sociology minor.

    About me: Tannishi, my name is Olivia Lane. I am a proud Métis woman who grew up on the unceded ancestral territories of the Shíshálh Nation on the Sunshine Coast, BC. I am a fourth year psychology student that is very passionate about ending the stigma surrounding mental health. I strive to make an inclusive environment through the use of inclusive language and the pursuit of decolonization in my academic and professional settings. After I graduate from TRU I hope to pursue a Masters degree in either forensic or clinical psychology. In my spare time I love baking, hiking and tending to my house plants.

    I am happy to help with English, Psychology, and Sociology or any type of paper related assignments in regard to brainstorming and proofreading. I also excel at organizing and creating schedules to maintain time management and meet deadlines. In addition, I am a resource hub! I am happy to provide and help search out any needed resources in regard to mental, sexual and physical health on and off campus.

  • Hailey Lepine

    Hailey Lepine, Cree, Ojibwe and Lakota


    Program: Bachelor Degree in Business with a Major in Accounting

    About me: Hi everyone,

    I am a Metis woman, specifically a mix of Cree, Ojibwe, and Lakota heritage. I’m currently in my third year of the BBA program with an accounting major. Upon graduation from TRU I plan to then work towards becoming a CPA (chartered professional accountant).

    After taking advantage of the resources provided by The Gathering Place throughout my time as a student, I am excited to now support others as a mentor for house 5. Having grown up in Kamloops, I am knowledgeable on the area if any questions arise. Also, having mentored on campus before to assist potential future students in their transition to post-secondary, I know a lot about on campus resources. Feel free to direct any questions my way when you see me around, and I’ll be sure to answer to the best of my ability or to get you in contact with someone who can!

  • Charlene Quinney

    Charlene Quinney, Cree


    Program: Human Service Diploma Program

    About me: Well I am a proud Plains Cree First Nations lady, from Frog Lake, Alberta. I am the proud mother of 4 beautiful children, who have blessed my life by choosing me for this very important role. I have made the decision to go back to school to help give back to people who need the help that I needed at one point in time. In doing so, I hope to encourage my kids to always be kind, courteous, and brave in all their future choices. I am looking forward to my second year and what adventures await me. It will be a pleasure working with the other mentors that I hope to all meet one day.

  • Jesse Young

    Jesse Young, Métis


    Program: Juris Doctor Law - 3L

    About me: My name is Jesse Young, and I'm currently in my final year of law school after completing a business education. I'm Métis with a mixed Indigenous /Settler background and have lived all over Canada. I'm Co-President of the Indigenous Law Students Association and you can also find me involved in a few other committees and clubs on campus. Off-campus I'm currently a firefighter in the Shuswap and a minor hockey coach in Chase, BC. I'm a firm believer in education and have seen it open incredible opportunities for those like me. I'm thrilled about this opportunity and look forward to meeting any who require some assistance or would like to chat.

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