KPU hosts first annual New Moon Gala to support Indigenous scholarships

Fri, Jan 5, 2024

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) will be hosting the university’s first annual New Moon Gala to raise funds for Indigenous student scholarships.

“The New Moon Gala embodies our mission under the xéʔelɬ framework to support the aspirations of Indigenous students,” says Dr. Alan Davis, President and Vice-Chancellor at KPU. “We stay committed to building strong relationships and creating equal opportunities for Indigenous communities.”

The gala, which takes place on Jan. 11, will welcome former B.C. Lieutenant-Governor and recently appointed Officer of the Order of Canada the Honourable Steven Point, as a special guest speaker. There will be a showcase of Indigenous performances and a silent auction, with all proceeds from bids supporting Indigenous scholarships.

The New Moon Gala supports the principles established in the xéʔelɬ KPU Pathway to Systemic Transformation framework, launched in June 2023. The framework represents the university’s commitment to reducing systemic barriers and creating an inclusive learning environment for Indigenous students through actions detailed in six pathways. These pathways include examining beliefs and biases about Indigenous peoples and cultures, creating a culturally responsive system, strengthening relationships and partnerships with Indigenous people, weaving Indigenous ways of becoming in education, fostering a sense of belonging and well-being, and creating funding to build capacity for Indigenization across all five KPU campuses.

“Accessing financing is one of the major barriers for Indigenous peoples who want to pursue education. The fundraising event that we are organizing shows KPU’s commitment to breaking down these barriers and making a step towards creating a stronger future for Indigenous students and their communities,” says Gayle Bedard, Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Leadership, Innovation and Partnerships at KPU.

In the fall of 2023, KPU was among the first post-secondary institutions in B.C. to introduce a tuition waiver for incoming and current KPU students who are members of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Musqueam, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt, and Kwikwetlem First Nations. Additionally, KPU supports Indigenous students through various internal and external scholarships and awards, including the Tireless Runner Award. Please visit the KPU website for more information.

The event will take place on Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. at KPU Surrey, bringing together alumni, university leaders, members of local First Nations, students, and members of the greater community. Tickets are available for $75 and can be purchased here.