About Us

The mandate of Writing Symbols Lodge at the University of Calgary is to provide a culturally appropriate environment that encourages and supports the success of Indigenous students in their pursuit of knowledge and higher education.

Writing Symbols Lodge provides academic, personal, and cultural support services and programs to prospective and current First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, and offers a welcoming and supportive learning environment for the whole campus community.

Student facilities

  • Red Lodge Student Lounge — refrigerator, microwave, toaster, coffee-maker, kettle
  • Computer lab
  • Indigenous Students' Council office
  • Shared study space
  • Ceremonial Room


Writing Symbols Lodge (formerly The Native Centre) has existed since 1972 and was established as a student services unit in 1988.

The logo associated with the Native Centre and the First Nations Student Association (now the Indigenous Students' Council) was designed by former students, Mary Bohn and April Boyd, and gifted to the Native Centre. The logo design incorporates several important cultural symbols.

The seven circles at the top of the logo signify the seven stars of the Big Dipper which, in Indigenous mythology, represent the seven brothers. The stripes symbolize the Aurora Borealis (the northern lights). The bird is a stylistic perception of the eagle, a symbol of aspiration. The mountains are symbolic of the ranges embroidering the prairies, where Indigenous cultures thrived for many moons. The tipis symbolize our home and our land where the lords of the plains, the buffalo, graced life. The four directions of the earth are represented by the axis. The eagle feathers represent the seasons and phases of the moon. The circles in the tipis are the dusty stars, the birth of our spiritual heritage. The earth symbolizes us, reaching to our potential in the Canadian Mosaic.

Writing Symbols Lodge logo

The original Writing Symbols Lodge (formerly Native Centre) logo.