The Indigenous Learning House in Elgin Heritage Park

Learn about this new space for connection, gathering and learning.

A space to create, learn, and connect.

Totest Aleng: Indigenous Learning House was created for Indigenous cultural and artistic practices in Surrey. The enclosed artist studio is dedicated to artists-in-residences, large-scale projects, and hands-on learning programs. The pavilion is a place for connection, where Indigenous-led workshops, events, and school programs (coming soon) take place.

Dancers at the opening celebration.


Ways to connect

Summer open house days: Saturdays 12-4pm

Join us every Saturday afternoon this summer as we open the studio doors to visitors! Tour the dioramas and models hand-made by archaeologist Don Welsh, while the kids are engaged in hands-on activities.


Residencies provide local Indigenous artists – both upcoming and established – space and resources to work on their creative and cultural craft in a new, inspiring environment. Artists have full use of the studio, tools, and resources to support their work. Different artists will connect with the public in various ways: open house studio tours, artist talks, or workshops. Learn more about the Artists-in-Residence program here.

Public programs

Connect directly with artists, creatives, and knowledge keepers through hands-on workshops, plant walks, and history talks. Keep an eye on the upcoming programs page or sign up for the Heritage E-News for registration details.

School programs

Collaboration between Indigenous leaders, Surrey School District and City staff is underway to develop school programs that are curriculum current and unique to the venue. Stay tuned for updates on when we are ready to welcome classes for field trips.

Meaning of the name

The name Totest Aleng (pronounced tot-est ah-leng) was generously gifted by Semiahmoo First Nation. It is a SENĆOŦEN name that roughly translates to learning house and references the many opportunities for learning and growth that take place here.


"I am thrilled that we have been able to collaborate with the City to create this incredible new space. It provides a much-needed space to support cultural practices, learning and dialogue in a meaningful way.”

Chief Harley Chappell, Semiahmoo First Nation


Totest Aleng: Indigenous Learning House is located in Elgin Heritage park, which is situated on the unceded, traditional and ancestral lands of the Salish peoples, including the q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie), q̓ʷɑ:n̓ƛ̓ən̓ (Kwantlen), and se’mya’me (Semiahmoo) Nations. The venue neighbors Historic Stewart Farm, sharing a parking lot and washrooms. On the grounds, you can reflect on the park’s layered histories and learn from your experiences.

The new Totest Aleng Indigenous Learning House

In the news

October 20, 2023 | Art Work Endorsed for South Surrey Indigenous Learning House 
June 16, 2023 | Community Celebration Marks Opening of the New Indigenous Learning House at Elgin Heritage Park
February 15, 2022 | City of Surrey to build an Indigenous Carving Centre this year