Special Initiatives

Several noteworthy special initiatives developed under the Aboriginal Strategic Plan are noted here. For a more extensive account of activity across campus, please see the 2012 Implementation Report.

UBC Indian Residential School Initiative

UBC is committed to developing a better awareness and understanding of the Indian Residential School system that operated in Canada from 1875-1996, which had a profound impact on First Nations individuals and communities including relations between Aboriginal people and Canadian society.

From September 18-21, 2013, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada conducted the last of its National Events in Vancouver. UBC took the extraordinary step of suspending classes on September 18th so that students, faculty, and other members of the UBC community might more fully participate in this historic event, and many initiatives were undertaken on campus to plan and prepare for this event.

A website has been established to house information about those events and initiatives, and to provide an opportunity for visitors to connect with others who led them: UBC Indian Residential School Initiative Site

Teaching and Learning

As the Aboriginal Strategic Plan was forming, a student project in the First Nations Studies Program began documenting the experiences of Aboriginal and other students in classrooms where discussions of Aboriginal issues or issues of race and ethnicity developed in ways that were alienating or conflictual. That project, What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom, developed an online video archive of those experiences and an analysis of their common themes, and is featured on the Student Research page.

The project clearly identified the need for a forum through which faculty could better understand student concerns and develop more effective and professional techniques for conducting productive discussions of difficult issues. In the fall of 2009, the position of Coordinator of Aboriginal Initiatives was established within the Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. The current coordinator, Amy Perreault, works with staff within this unit, with faculty groups, and with training programs for teaching assistants, new faculty, and administrators, to better understand the dynamics of classroom discussions of Aboriginal issues in a multicultural environment. Visit CTLT’s Aboriginal initiatives site.

Amy Perreault
214-1961 East Mall (IK Barber Learning Centre)
604 827-4398

Revised: October 24, 2013

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

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