Bishop’s University to begin work on Kwigw8mna – Important project milestone reached with successful tender and additional funding

Bishop’s University to begin work on Kwigw8mna – Important project milestone reached with successful tender and additional funding

Bishop’s University is set to begin work this summer on Kwigw8mna, which means “our (and everyone’s) house” in the Abenaki language. The University recently approved a satisfactory bid for tender and has received significant funding from Québec’s Ministry of Higher Education, donors, and other sources.

Kwigw8mna, which will include a space dedicated to Indigenous students, will be a place to gather for talking and sharing, and a place to promote learning at the cultural and academic levels, is becoming a reality. Kwigw8mna is also intended to help students succeed and achieve their highest academic potential by working with them to make the most of the many resources available.

Kwigw8mna will also promote dialogue and interaction between Indigenous students and non-Indigenous students at Bishop’s, and will greatly contribute to teaching and research on topics of Indigenous interest. This phase of the project represents the culmination of years of work and dialogue that has engaged the entire Bishop’s community.

“I witnessed and worked on the evolution of the Kwigw8mna project through my years as a student and now as staff. It’s very rewarding to see this important initiative finally come to fruition through the sustained efforts of so many who deserve to be proud today. I am excited for the future of Kwigw8mna and how it will increase opportunities for intercultural learning, visibility, and community building!” indicates Shawna Chatterton Jerome ’21, Coordinator of Indigenous Student Support Services, and recent Bishop’s graduate.

“Kwigw8mna will provide a space for everyone to learn more about Indigenous perspectives and concerns, whether by visiting the house and interacting with Indigenous members of the Community, but also by being a resource where research on these topics lives and develops in real time in our community,” adds Dr. Genner Llanes- Ortiz, Canada Research Chair in Digital Indigeneities, of Bishop’s Sociology Department.

“We hope Kwigw8mna illustrates our welcoming of everyone on Abenaki territory. We are very pleased for the deep bonds of trust and friendship we have developed with members of the community of Bishop’s University, and we hope they endure,” remarks Richard O’Bomsawin, Chief – Abenaki of Odanak Council.

“The Abenaki are the original stewards of the land on which Bishop’s is situated. I am grateful to Chief O’Bomsawin for proposing the name Kwigw8mna, as it captures our aspiration that this building will be a home for our Indigenous students and faculty and for the Bishop’s community at large,” declares Michael Goldbloom, C.M., Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Bishop’s University.

“I am very proud to confirm an additional investment of $4.8 million for the realization of the Kwigw8mna project at Bishop’s University. A place like this will really allow Indigenous cultures to shine within the University. Higher education is an important vector of development for all communities, but even more so for Indigenous communities. Promoting access to higher education for students from these communities is essential for our government! “, says Pascale Déry, Minister of Higher Education.

“I can only applaud this project which will provide a meeting place for Indigenous students, professors and researchers who frequent the campus. The spaces have been designed by and for Indigenous communities, with the aim of encouraging intercultural exchanges. We must highlight this aspect, because it is through exchanges that we learn, that we grow, and that we can aspire to this spirit of reconciliation. Thank you to all the stakeholders of this beautiful project!” says Geneviève Hébert, MNA for Saint-François and Deputy Government Whip.

The funding sources for the $16.3M project are as follows:

  • Government of Québec special capital funds (PQI): $10.7M
  • Government of Québec regular capital fund (PQI): $2M
  • Bishop’s University operating fund: $1.9M
  • Philanthropic contributions: $1M
  • Government of Canada: $700,000K

Work is expected to begin early in August.

“When the project is completed, Kwigw8mna will further demonstrate Bishop’s University’s commitment to offering a student-centred learning environment in an inclusive and respectful community. It also reflects our commitment to sustainability through the preservation of one of the oldest buildings on campus,” adds Isabelle Goyette, Vice-Principal Finance and Administration.



Sonia Patenaude
Manager of Communications
819-342-2587 |