Wednesday, December 7, 2022

New Names for Three Campus Buildings

To All Members of the Carleton Community,

It is a pleasure and an honour to introduce our community to new, meaningful names for three of our main campus buildings, as approved yesterday by the Board of Governors.

Today, more than 40 per cent of Carleton students are from culturally diverse communities. At all institutions across Canada, there is a recognition of the urgent need to better reflect diversity in our academic mission and campus operations. Carleton continues to lead the way towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and a more equitable world where everyone can fully belong and fully contribute. As such, in February 2021 we launched an initiative to give three of our main campus buildings new names that reflect our diversity and commitment to inclusion. We are thankful to everyone—students, faculty, staff and community partners— who contributed to this important initiative from its inception.

Three distinct community-led processes have now resulted in the bestowing of three beautiful and meaningful names chosen by Algonquin; Inuit; and African, Caribbean and Black communities. In each instance, we acknowledge that the university will go beyond the naming itself and commit to additional inclusion initiatives that will accompany and complement the new names. These activities—such as imbuing the building spaces with cultural indicators—will be implemented in consultation with, and guided by, each of the respective communities.

Please join us in fully embracing the three new building names. Each name will be formally unveiled at a launch event in the new year and details will follow on each of these celebratory events.

Nideyinàn – formerly the University Centre

Carleton is situated on the traditional, unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Algonquin Nation. In an effort to embody a significant territory acknowledgement in a meaningful way, Carleton engaged in a thorough consultation with the Algonquin Advisory Council and Algonquin communities in the region—notably Kitigan Zibi and Pikwakanagan—to name this central and high-profile facility which is the crossroads of all campus activity. The new name is Nideyinàn (pronounced nih-DAY-in-nahn) and translates to “our heart.”

Pigiarvik (ᐱᒋᐊᕐᕕᒃ) – formerly Robertson Hall

With the gracious support of the Robertson family, Carleton is naming its main administrative building to acknowledge and honour Inuit and to further commit to the recommendations of the Kinàmàgawin Report. Following a thorough engagement process with the Inuit Advisory Council and Inuit in the region and in the North, Carleton is naming this building Pigiarvik (pronounced pee-ghee-awe-vik), which translates to “a place to begin” or “the starting place.”

Teraanga Commons – formerly Residence Commons

Carleton engaged African, Caribbean and Black communities in a process to name this building, which is a central hub of student life. The new name, Teraanga Commons (pronounced tare-ang-gah), is a Senegalese name from the Wolof language that emphasizes generosity of spirit and sharing of material possessions in all encounters, even with strangers. This builds a culture in which there is no “other,” and that by being so giving to all, regardless of nationality, religion or class, a feeling grows that everyone is safe and welcome.

In closing, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the community members who contributed to these extensive processes, and to our colleagues who ensured they unfolded in a good way: Kahente Horn-Miller, Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Teaching, Learning and Research; Ikram Jama, Director, Human Rights and Equity; Benny Michaud, Director, Centre for Indigenous Support and Community Engagement; and Patrice Smith, Dean, Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Wishing everyone a wonderful day and a great end to the fall term,


Benoit-Antoine Bacon
President and Vice-Chancellor

Jerry Tomberlin
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 in , , , ,
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