A new logo has been created for First Nation students at St. Thomas University.
The logo was designed by Shane Perley-Dutcher, a prominent Wolastqui Silversmith from the Nekootkook (Tobique) First Nation.
“It’s a very old tradition in First Nation culture to wear a symbol or symbols that represent the individuals identity, maternal and paternal clan, territory and other aspects of identity, yet we weren’t seeing many alumni wearing the “ T ” in the community,” says Dan Robichaud, Aboriginal Student Services Officer.
“Some of our First Nation students told us that they didn’t really feel like the traditional STU “T” symbol represented them so we wanted to see what we could do to change that. We asked Shane to design a logo that would reflect the partnership between STU and the First Nations communities—something our First Nation students could feel a part of.”
The logo incorporates the STU “ T ” and a double curve motif, a design element used by the Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kmaq for many generations.
“They used the double curve to sign work they created and as markers for traditional knowledge. Our world view is within the designs we created,” explained Perley-Dutcher.
“The T-logo is a symbol of unity, respect and inclusiveness. The Wolastoqiyik and Mi’kmaq culture will always be the heart of our learning process. Through this design, we honour the spirit of lifelong learning and we honour the heart of our students that take the steps to improve their wellbeing through education. This design carries hope for a better future for First Nation learners at St. Thomas University,” he added.
The logo has been reproduced with embroidery and beadwork and has been given as special gifts.
Robichaud says he is getting a positive response from students and the First Nations communities alike.
“They are excited to wear it,” he says.
“I like that it represents the duality of the student. They are First Nations and they are a STU student and this represents both of these identities.”