UBC’s commitment to meaningful relationships with Aboriginal communities and organizations begins with our acknowledgement of the traditional territories of the Musqueam and Okanagan peoples, upon which UBC’s Point Grey (Vancouver) and Kelowna (Okanagan) campuses are located. As our colleagues from Musqueam frequently remind us, the territory on which our Point Grey campus is located is unceded, that it, it was never surrendered by Musqueam to Canada or British Columbia through a treaty or other means (a circumstance more common in British Columbia than in the rest of Canada). Musqueam traditional sites exist throughout the area now occupied by UBC buildings, and the university’s arrival here marked the final alienation of these lands from Musqueam use and control.
In recent years, UBC has taken steps to acknowledge this longer and more difficult history. The Point Grey campus now has two student residences with Musqueam names that acknowledge traditional sites on the campus, and other markers acknowledging Musqueam presence. Where Musqueam and other Aboriginal students were once excluded, through various means, from higher education, they are now here in increasing numbers, as are Aboriginal faculty, researchers, and other staff. It is now routine to acknowledge Musqueam territory at UBC events, and to have members of the Musqueam community join us in welcoming visitors. It is part of who we are, together, and the common history that we acknowledge and share.
UBC has formal affiliations with both the Musqueam Indian Band and the Okanagan Nation Alliance, and many other forms of relationship with these and other First Nations and other Aboriginal communities and organizations. Some relationships, such as these affiliations, operate on the university-wide level, and many others exist between individual programs, researchers, students, and communities and organizations. Many connections exist as well with Indigenous communities and organizations throughout the world. Noted here are a few of these kinds of relationships. Come back often as we add more.