University of Waterloo to build new 500-bed residence hall using Indigenous principles

The University of Waterloo has announced plans to build a new 500-bed residence hall on its main campus that will prioritize Indigenous engagement and principles.

The school says it is working with an Indigenous architecture firm, Two Row, to build the structure by 2026.

“The building will include a community healing garden to enable the cultivation of sacred and traditional medicinal plants,” a statement from the school read.

“It will also house equipped gathering spaces for smudging, a smudging ceremony, and provide spaces for elders residing on site to meet with students.”

Waterloo says the building will be constructed from recycled building materials and a low-carbon heating system, in an effort to be environmentally friendly.

“We know that students who live in residence, especially in their first year of study, achieve higher retention and graduation rates, high GPAs, and a strong sense of belonging, d community engagement and personal well-being,” said Chris Read, Associate Dean, Students. .

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“That’s why we want to ensure that as many students as possible wishing to live on campus can, and that when they do, they have thoughtful and sustainable options that put their well-being first.” . »

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