Prince George, B.C. – The University of Northern British Columbia is launching a new project to engage the entire University community to learn more about what reconciliation means.
In partnership with UNBC’s First Nations Centre, the University’s goal is to make 1,000 origami ravens this year to symbolize a University-wide wish for reconciliation.
The raven is an important symbol, considered a trickster that inadvertently teaches us life lessons. In a creation story, the raven stole the sun and brought light to a dark world, and will now help us bring light to reconciliation.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our University community to engage in a meaningful hands-on activity that we hope will spark dialogue around the challenging topics addressed in the Truth and Reconciliation report,” said UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks. “This is another step the University is taking towards reconciliation including campus Indigenization projects and engaging dialogue with local and regional communities.”
Students, faculty and staff will have ample opportunity to make the ravens throughout the year every week in the Gathering Place. Once created, they will be displayed prominently at the University, celebrating those who have made personal and professional commitments to Reconciliation.
"The building of each raven is not an easy task, but the process of reconciliation is not easy either, knowing that the end result will be beautiful both in the wish and the ravens,” said Bev Best, Manager of Aboriginal Student Engagement.
An ancient Japanese legend promises anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted one wish. As a mystical or holy creature, the crane is said to live for 1,000 years. In some stories, it is believed that the 1,000 origami cranes must be completed within a single year for the wish to be granted.