Beloved Café returns to FNUniv campus
- Campbell Stevenson | November 28, 2023
After a long hiatus, Kôhkom Bea’s Café has re-opened its doors to the FirstNations University of Canada’s (FNUniv) Regina community.
Located on the east side of the FNUniv building, Kôhkom Bea’s has been either closed or operated by outside vendors for years.
During the opening, many gathered outside the Café’s doors to commemrate this historic place on campus.
Sheila Pelletier, Director of the paminawasowin Child Care Centre on campus, has been attempting to revive the café for quite some time.“We need something here; I know Henderson’s moved in for a while but we haven’t had something of our own for quite some time,” said Pelletier.
Her mission began when she noticed food insecurity had risen significantly for students and staff.
“I want Kôhkom Bea’s to be a place that can provide food for students and staff,” said Pelletier. “Everyone experiences difficulties in life, and sometimes accessing food can be a major issue for students and even teachers.
In recognizing the needs of her campus community, she wholeheartedly engaged in bringing back this university staple.
One of the most crucial aspects of re-opening Kôhkom Bea’s was to add more emphasis on who it was named after-Beatrice Lavallee.
She was an Elder who played a vital role at FNUniv, and even when it was still known as the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC) prior to 2003.
Roland Kaye, the Elder’s helper at FNUniv, recalls how essential she was to the fabric of the community.
“She would always help others, even when the University was closed, her work continued after - hours ,” said Kaye.“There was never a time where she wasn’t helping out her community.
[“We are never alone because the Grandfathers and Grandmothers are always with us.”]-Beatrice Lavallee
As the University re-opens this beloved place of community, it should be mentioned that this is a full-circle moment.
“The plaque outside of the Café [Honouring Lavallee] is made out of the same wood that the doorway of the tipi in the middle of our campus are made of.” Said Pelletier.
“By providing hot meals and daily specials, while embracing traditional food items, I just want students and staff to have a place to come to for food. Even more, I just want to be able to keep our doors open for a long time, not just one year then we’re gone. I want this place to be a mainstay on our campus.”
Kôhkom Bea’s Café officially opened its doors on October 27.