In the summer of 2012 the UBC Vancouver Aboriginal Strategic Plan Implementation Committee produced an Implementation Report addressing the period up to June 31 2012. Below is the text of the body of this report. Click here for a printable copy of the full report, including extensive appendices: 2012 IMPLEMENTATION REPORT & APPENDICES (PDF DOWNLOAD)
2012 IMPLEMENTATION REPORT & APPENDICES (PDF DOWNLOAD)
ABORIGINAL STRATEGIC PLAN
FOR THE PERIOD ENDING JUNE 30, 2012
Since the first report on the implementation of the Aboriginal Strategic Plan in 2010, considerable progress has been made in several key areas. Aboriginal enrolments and graduation rates have continued to rise: in the 2010/11 academic year, 1,041 students were identified as Aboriginal at UBC, with 729 students on the Vancouver campus, and, on Vancouver campus, 121 Aboriginal students graduated in all degree categories. At the Vancouver campus, processes surrounding admissions and several aspects of student support that have long operated as barriers to Aboriginal students have been significantly improved, and new pathways into UBC established. Major advances have also been made in data management, allowing students to more easily update their self-identification status, and providing more consistent baseline information. In research, a process moving towards better understanding and more complete evaluation of the kinds of collaborative research frequently done with Aboriginal communities and organizations has been established that will better support new research and significant initiatives already underway, and across the university new curriculum has been established and new Indigenous and expert faculty have been hired. UBC now has more than twenty Indigenous faculty on tenure-track appointments—one of the largest cohorts in a research-intensive university in the world. Additional programs for pre-university Aboriginal students have been established. A major strategic planning initiative for Aboriginal programs has begun for the health disciplines, and major Indigenous initiatives are now at the forefront of the Faculty of Education’s agenda. Finally, UBC has begun a set of initiatives surrounding the history and legacy of the Indian Residential School system that will provide a focus for all of our programs aimed at the potential for a better future, based in a common understanding of our shared history, that we can, as an informed society, develop together.
Before beginning with this last set of possibilities, it is important to note that the Aboriginal Strategic Plan is now in its fourth year of operations. At its inception, the plan was intended to initiate new activity and provide institutional focus; in a larger sense, however, it is built on the recognition that the many forms of activity it encompasses are and must be embedded in core University functions in ways that are sustainable and allow for growth. It is important to ensure that, at the unit level, progress to date is understood and stable, and that a path for future development is defined. A final section of this report (Budgets and Planning) returns to this concern.
On November 1, 2011 the First Nations House of Learning, in collaboration with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, hosted a day-long Dialogue on the History and Legacy of the Indian Residential Schools. For more than a century, the Indian Residential School system forcibly removed Aboriginal children from their communities and families and placed them in a system of extended confinement in which many died and many more suffered multiple forms of abuse. The effects upon individuals and communities were devastating and, though the last school closed in 1997, those effects reverberate through families and communities to this day. Until recently, these effects were rarely openly discussed in communities, and remained virtually invisible to the larger Canadian society that had tacitly authorized and perpetuated their operation. Even though Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized in Parliament on June 11, 2008 for the systematic injustices perpetrated through this system few Canadians know much about this history or about the wider history it represents. The result is that Aboriginal people and other Canadians enter into conversations and negotiations with no real basis for understanding each other, or the context of the issues they are attempting to resolve.
The November 1 Dialogue at UBC was designed to give key administrators, faculty, and student leaders the opportunity to come together with residential school survivors and other Aboriginal leaders to develop a better understanding of this system and its effects, and to consider the ways in which a more informed understanding might provide the basis for a better future. The day, conducted according to Coast Salish ceremonial practice, was intense and, at many points, very difficult, but many participants indicated that it was very significant in giving them the basis for a new understanding and a clearer vision of what education can and should be in providing a basis for Canadian and Aboriginal relations.
Following this event, a further set of initiatives have been undertaken. First, a set of anniversary events during Celebrate Learning week in October 2012 has been scheduled to follow up on and continue the work begun in 2011. One focus will be further planning: the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), established by court order to gather testimony and documentation on the Indian Residential School system, is scheduled to hold its last National Event on the west coast in Vancouver in the fall of 2013. The UBC Faculty Senate and Board of Governors has approved the suspension of classes for one day during that National Event so that students and the university community may more actively participate in it, and this year’s activities will plan how the National Event can be built into curriculum and other forms of engagement. Several campus units have already begun planning for such programs.
Part of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is also the formation of a permanent National Research Centre (NRC) to provide access to its records and to develop educational materials and public information on the schools. UBC has also joined with the University of Manitoba in a bid to become the National Research Centre. If this bid is successful, UBC will establish a West Coast Centre that will provide access to Indian Residential School records and testimony, and develop educational materials and public information that will provide institutional memory for this history and for the broader set of historical relations it represents, especially as it applies to British Columbia. It will serve as a focal point for education on the Point Grey campus, a destination point for K-12 students from across the province and for visitors from communities and around the world, and for the formation of new relationships and understandings that will serve us all.
Since the last report in 2010, considerable institutional focus has been devoted to removing barriers to Aboriginal student success and to providing better support for Aboriginal students at all levels.
Admissions. Better management of the Aboriginal applicant pool and more efficient address of data issues resulted in an increase of 56% in undergraduate Aboriginal admissions for winter session 2011 without any changes having been made to admissions criteria. In the following year, admissions held even with this increased amount, even though very broad changes in general UBC admissions processes produced some challenges (further information below). The work done on Aboriginal admissions processes was very difficult and technically challenging, but the results clearly worthwhile. As noted at the end of this section, however, continued monitoring and adjustment will be necessary to retain and extend these gains, and to extend them through work in other areas.
In addition to these changes, substantial progress has been made in harmonizing data on Aboriginal students. Students can now more easily self-identify at the time of admission, and can easily change their status at any subsequent point. Definitions and the purpose of self-identification have also been more clearly explained. While it is possible that some of the increase in enrolments is an increase in self-identification, if so, it may well indicate that students feel more confident that identified Aboriginal status will work for them rather than against them. Although complexities and challenges remain in data collection, we can, for the first time, more confidently and consistently track Aboriginal student data from year to year.
Professional faculties, such as Law and Medicine, have separate admissions processes, and both Law and Medicine have had Aboriginal admissions programs that, for many years, been highly successful. The program in the Faculty of Medicine has frequently been studied by other institutions aspiring to similar success, and, in 2011, the Faculty of Law had a particularly successful admissions cycle, admitting nineteen new Aboriginal students for a total of fifty six—a record for a Law faculty in Canada.
More aggressive recruiting and support of Indigenous graduate students also resulted in gains across the university. In the 2010/11 academic year, 148 graduate students on the Vancouver campus were identified as Aboriginal. Since graduate students are admitted through many department processes, gathering more accurate current data on Aboriginal Graduate students remains a challenge. As graduate student recruitment tends to be international, the number of Indigenous students recruited to UBC also merits further investigation.
Financial Aid. New Aboriginal scholarships and fellowships have been established at the undergraduate and graduate levels and more than $600,000 in dedicated funding is awarded yearly on the Vancouver campus to Aboriginal students. Two major entrance awards have been established for high-achieving Aboriginal undergraduate students, each worth $20,000 over four years. Graduate student support has also been increasing: in the 2011-2012 academic year, $282,685 in academic fellowships was targeted for Aboriginal graduate students. In addition to these amounts, the Faculty of Education also reports $320,000 awarded each year to Aboriginal Ph.D. students with plans to award more. These awards supplement others already established for Aboriginal students, and other general awards for which Aboriginal students are eligible. Since the purpose of these dedicated awards is to increase the levels of support available to Aboriginal students, any other awards made to students that will be displaced by these larger awards will go to the next most highly ranked Aboriginal student rather than returning to the general pool.
UBC is moving towards a more integrated Admissions / Financial Aid process in which financial awards will be more closely tied to need and financial aid packages presented to successful applicants simultaneously with their notice of admissions. Though this shift in process should provide significant benefit to Aboriginal applicants, it will be important to monitor it to assure that it does.
UBC-Langara Transfer Program. Since the last report, UBC and Langara College have collaborated on the design of a transfer program for Aboriginal students entering the Arts Faculty. The program uses a number of incentives, including guaranteed admissions, financial awards, and support services to encourage Aboriginal students to gain the preparation necessary for admission and success at the university. Given that the majority of Aboriginal students leaving BC high schools do not meet the University’s general admission requirements, and that Aboriginal students who do transition to BC colleges and universities often prefer smaller institutions, this program is an important component of the Vancouver campus’s overall Aboriginal recruitment strategy. Other faculties are now considering participation in this program.
Aboriginal Language Credits. BC and Yukon high school students applying to the Vancouver campus must complete an approved grade 11 language course to meet the campus’s second language requirement. Although the Vancouver campus has accepted several First Nations languages for some time, an additional 14 languages were added in 2012 to the list of grade 11 and 12 courses satisfying this requirement. This change in admission policy provides First Nations students and others the opportunity to learn local First Nations languages while preparing for university admission. These courses are also significant in that they may be included in the student’s admission average calculation. Finally, these language courses are also helpful for smaller communities who struggle to offer their students enough of the academic courses needed for university admission. The Okanagan campus has also approved these courses for inclusion in admissions.
Aboriginal Jump Start. The Jump Start program began as a two-week orientation program primarily for international students and has proved so successful in increasing student success that programming has been extended throughout the year and UBC is now beginning to extend it to a wider range of students. In August 2011, an Aboriginal cohort was added to Jump Start and programming developed that specifically addressed their academic and cultural needs. A second group of students will enter the program this fall.
Pre-University Programs. UBC continues to run an extensive set of pre-university and outreach programs for younger Aboriginal students. In addition to established campus-based programs such as Summer Science, CEDAR, and the Native Youth Program, other programs are run collaboratively with the Musqueam Indian Band, the Vancouver School Board, and other partners. A new Emerging Aboriginal Scholars Program developed in collaboration with the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) was successfully inaugurated in 2011.
Though substantial progress has been made in many aspects of admissions, data collection, and student support, challenges remain. As noted above, UBC is in the process of making substantial changes to its whole system of admissions, including a major shift to broad-based admissions that evaluate factors in addition to GPA as an index of past performance, as well as a very substantial change in the ways in which services are provided. These changes should be of benefit to Aboriginal applicants, but their actual effects are, as yet, uncertain, and there are reasons for concern. The longer admissions form, for instance, may present some additional challenges for students coming from households in which there is little familiarity with such processes. This year, around 150 Aboriginal students began the application process, but did not complete it: follow-up contacts with and support for such students is essential. The cost of application also appears to be functioning as a barrier and strategies to mitigate application and registration costs need to be investigated.
UBC’s admissions cycle is also considerably behind that of other institutions, several of which grant early admissions to Aboriginal applicants. It is, therefore, extremely important that we continue to monitor admissions processes for their actual effects on Aboriginal applications, devise alternative processes as necessary, and maintain the flexibility and mobility to address challenges quickly as they arise.
The gains made to date in these areas have been the result of constant vigilance, a highly dedicated strategic team, and close collaboration with senior administrators.
UBC is a massive institution, and the numbers of Aboriginal students are still quite small (<1.5% on the Vancouver campus): it is very easy for critical Aboriginal initiatives to be lost in day-to-day processes or in the course of administrative policy shifts. This year, as noted above, a major shift in the ways in which services are provided has begun that eliminates many of the support structures this team has worked so long to establish. In this transition, the ways in which Aboriginal student circumstances will be addressed has not been not entirely certain.
For the last two years, the position of Coordinator of Aboriginal Initiatives dedicated to strategic planning in Enrolment Services and the VP Students portfolio has operated on a trial basis. That oversight and planning function has been critical to the gains made to date—and to their extension in the foreseeable future. At present, a process of assuring the long-term stability of that position is nearly complete. In addition, a dedicated Aboriginal recruiter/advisor position has been part of the UBC recruiting team in Enrolment Services. That position is now being restructured to better address strategic priorities.
It is still also the case that some Aboriginal student programs, especially those directed towards pre-university students, are vulnerable to changes in extramural funding. Recent reductions in both federal and provincial government support have resulted in reduced functions for some programs (very notably the Native Youth Program). It is imperative that alternative strategies for continuing these valuable programs be identified. They are far too valuable to lose.
Based on the work done to date and assuming that gains can be consolidated in the emerging new regime of admissions and services, we are now in the position to consider the expansion of the programs that have a solid base, and to consider the addition of others.
Extension of the UBC-Langara Transfer Program. As noted above, this program has begun as a path towards admission to the Faculty of Arts. There is considerable interest and advantage to its extension to other faculties, and it has the promise of becoming a major pathway to UBC for students who may not be in a position to take that step in first year.
The possibility of establishing relations with other institutions, including Aboriginal- controlled institutions that might provide laddering into the Langara program, should also be explored.
Investigation of Other Transitional Year Options. The UBC-Langara Transfer Program offers an additional route into UBC for students for whom direct entry may not be the best option, but it is also a program likely to be of benefit primarily to students in the lower mainland. Other transitional year program possibilities should be explored for students coming from more distant locations.
Older students who have considerable work experience also might benefit from the development of other avenues of entry, such as certificate programs that provide alternative pathways into degree programs for academically-oriented participants. Some existing programs, such as the Aboriginal Health and Community Administration Program (AHCAP) provide a starting point for such developments, and other models available to us through our international partnerships should be further explored.
With further developments, a full set of admissions pathways for Aboriginal students is within our reach.
Recruiting. The first stage of implementation of the Aboriginal Strategic Plan deferred the development of an active recruiting program until we were confident that our processes and support structures for Aboriginal students would reliably result in positive student experiences, and that supports were robust enough to support expansion. Though work remains in all of these areas, an active recruiting policy is now warranted.
There are, however, some challenges. Most UBC programs are over-subscribed: students compete heavily for entry, and recruiting is not really necessary. For Aboriginal students, however, the case may be quite different. Aboriginal students across Canada and certainly in BC have many more options than they used to, and the number of Aboriginal students completing Grade 12 with the necessary entrance requirements is still quite low. Institutions are now quite clearly competing for Aboriginal students. Students are often attracted as well to smaller institutions closer to home, and the highest performing students are often recruited by other elite institutions, including some in the United States.
While the emergence of all of these options are desirable in terms of the larger social goal of providing Aboriginal students with multiple paths in higher education, UBC has unique opportunities for Aboriginal students in many areas and may well be the best choice for students who may choose other institutions if we do not adequately make our case. It is now the time to devise, resource, and implement an effective Aboriginal recruiting strategy. The full and strategic development of the dedicated recruiting position in Enrolment Services noted above is critical and requires the collaborative engagement of expertise from many areas, and certainly from the Coordinator of Aboriginal Initiatives in Enrolment Services and the VP Students portfolio.
In addition to the superb curriculum that exists across many units in many fields, significant developments have occurred since our last report in curricula of particular interest to Aboriginal students and communities.
Required Courses. The Faculties of Education and Law have both instituted mandatory Aboriginal curriculum requirements for all of their undergraduate students. The Faculty of Education has passed a requirement that all students complete a course in Aboriginal education.
The Faculty of Law will now be requiring that all students complete curriculum in constitutional law that addresses Aboriginal rights. This requirement is in response to the assessment in the legal profession that knowledge of these areas is fundamental to competence in the practice of law in Canada and will begin this fall.
New Degree Tracks. In addition to new and revised courses developing Aboriginal content across campus, some units are adding degree concentrations addressing Aboriginal concerns. The Faculty of Education is also offering a Master of Education with an emphasis on Indigenous Knowledges and Pedagogies.
Based on the success of research projects conducted in collaboration with First Nations communities, the School of Community and Regional Planning has also developed an Indigenous Concentration within its Master Program in Planning.
This program should prove particularly valuable in developing the planning expertise necessary to take full advantage of the many areas of specialist expertise available in other areas throughout the university (in engineering, business, natural resources, politics and policy) to provide more integrated development strategies for communities. Too often specialist initiatives developed in communities do not progress because critical developments in some other area are lacking: this program will build the planning expertise to avoid those pitfalls and develop more integrated development strategies.
These programs and degree tracks supplement the many already in operation at UBC. The First Nations Concentration in the School of Library, Information, and Archival Studies (SLAIS) is one example, and the First Nations Studies Program in the Arts Faculty another.
Although not a degree track, another course is worthy of mention. For the last two years, the UBC Film Production Program has offered a one-term course in First Nations film production. This course provides students who are not film specialists the opportunity to develop an understanding of visual media and to produce a short video on a First Nations theme. In each of these two years, students have produced interesting work, and one student has gone on to major film festival success and the beginnings of a career. This course is funded by a multicultural film grant from Rogers Communications and will focus on Aboriginal film for one more year before rotating to another area. Further support will need to be secured for a First Nations film course to continue beyond this year.
New Faculty. UBC continues in its commitment and success in bringing additional Indigenous and expert faculty to the university. Since our last report, two new Indigenous faculty members have joined UBC. Dr Candace Kaleimamoowahinekapu Galla has joined the Faculty of Education, specializing in Indigenous language revitalization and education. Dr Daniel Justice, a senior Cherokee scholar specializing in Indigenous literature, has joined the Faculty of Arts as Chair of the First Nations Studies Program. In addition, the Faculty of Forestry welcomes Jeanette Bulkan from Guyana as Professor of First Nations and Community Forestry, replacing Professor Ron Trosper, who has returned to the United States. Several other search processes are currently in progress. UBC’s contingent of Indigenous and other expert faculty is now among the best in the world.
Public Programming. In addition to its regular courses, UBC routinely hosts conferences and other public events addressing Aboriginal issues. In addition to the November 1, 2011 Dialogue on the History and Legacy of the Indian Residential Schools mentioned earlier, below are some notable events from the last two years:
Global Indigenous Conference. Beginning in 2011, UBC has hosted a student- led conference addressing global Indigenous issues. The 2011 conference focused on the impact of development on Indigenous communities in Peru and the Amazon, and the 2012 conference concentrated on mining and energy issues and First Nations development strategies in BC.
The Futures of Change: Equity, Diversity, & Intercultural Understanding Colloquium. This conference in the spring of 2012, organized by the Interdisciplinary Roundtable on Diversity, a student organization including many Aboriginal students, provided a comprehensive examination of diversity issues on campus in which Aboriginal perspectives were well integrated.
International Federation of Library Associations. In the spring of 2012, the annual meeting of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) was held at UBC. The current President of the association, UBC Head Librarian Ingrid Parent, set Indigenous knowledge as the theme of the conference, and administrators of library systems from around the world gathered for three days to consider the information needs of Indigenous communities and the interaction of Indigenous information systems with larger national and transnational systems.
Hands Back, Hands Forward: Sharing Indigenous Intellectual Traditions. This two-day international conference focusing on Indigenous Intellectual Traditions in Education held at UBC was also a pre-conference to the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in which two senior Indigenous educators, Dr Linda Tuhiwai Smith from the University of Waikato in New Zealand, and Dr Jo-Ann Archibald, Associate Dean of Indigenous Education at UBC, were honoured.
Classroom Dialogue. The Aboriginal Strategic Plan noted that Aboriginal and other students often suffer significantly when classroom discussions of Aboriginal topics do not progress productively. Following the work begun in the student project What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom a position was established in the Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology to assist new and continuing teachers with understanding these discussions better and developing more productive and professional ways of working with them. That program began with the training of Teaching Assistants, and has now been increasingly active in working with faculty in several significant curricular areas.
While it is clear that many research projects are underway across the university that have an Aboriginal focus, getting an accurate number is very difficult, both because of the wide spectrum of projects challenges definition, and because research projects only typically become visible through a few formal processes—when, for instance, they register funding or file for ethics approval.
It is perhaps more useful to note that the Aboriginal Strategic Plan identified the type of research relationships as a more critical issue than the number of projects underway. The Plan notes that research that does not consider the interests of Aboriginal communities has,
in the past, often been far worse than no research at all, and the Plan calls for increased support of research relationships with Aboriginal communities and organizations that developed along newer, more collaborative models. That kind of research often begins with the establishment of collaborative relationships through which questions are jointly developed, goals determined, methods devised, and the interpretation and benefits of results shared.
Research conducted in this way is frequently called Community-Based Research (CBR), and in the 2011-2012 academic year, the Vice-President Research and International appointed a taskforce to prepare a set of recommendations for its better understanding and support. The recommendations of that group are now under consideration for further action. This step is a significant one: by asking different questions and developing relationships through which they can be approached in different ways, Community-Based Research can provide substantial benefits that would not be realized by other methods. There are, however, costs to doing this kind of work that have not been fully understood or adequately credited. The kinds of reciprocal relations involved can also take time and require forms of expertise and work not typical of other methods. If those benefits and requirements are not well understood, researchers may face difficulties in the assessment of their work, and especially its timelines, and may be dissuaded from entering this field. Establishing a community of practice that makes this work more visible and a process that ensures that it is properly understood and accurately evaluated will position UBC at the forefront of this emerging approach to research and is a major step forward for the Aboriginal Strategic Plan. The further progress of these developments should be watched closely.
One example of Community-Based Research is the CEDAR Project, a project funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research, Institute of Aboriginal People’s Health (CIHR, IAPH), and conducted by a team of UBC researchers from the School of Public and Population Health and Aboriginal community leadership. This study has been possible at all only through its collaborative community-based design, and has investigated questions, such as the link between HIV and HCV rates among urban Aboriginal youth and environmental factors such as parental attendance in Indian Residential Schools, that are very significant for policy and of primary interest to communities, but might otherwise have escaped the attention of academic researchers. The results have been significant in providing a better understanding of a critical issue in Aboriginal health and for establishing partnerships that can shape the future of Aboriginal health delivery.
A more fully developed platform for Community-Based Research will significantly add to UBC’s ability to partner with Aboriginal communities to address critical issues in health and many other areas, and to produce results such as this one.
The Aboriginal Strategic Plan was designed from the outset not to define initiatives across the university, but to set a broad framework in which units could see their work located and could undertake further initiatives to address issues and opportunities local to their fields. At present, two UBC units are undertaking major planning and implementation initiatives.
Faculty of Education. As noted above, the Faculty of Education has undertaken a major curricular initiative in mandating a required course on Aboriginal education for all undergraduates, is offering an M.Ed. program with an emphasis on Indigenous Knowledges and Pedagogies, and is continuing to add Indigenous faculty to its already significant cohort. In addition, the Faculty has designated the 2012-2013 academic year as “The Year of Indigenous Education.” Further information may be found at http://educ.ubc.ca/facultyunits/indigenous-education.
Faculty of Medicine. As noted above, the Faculty of Medicine has had for many years one of the most successful programs for Aboriginal medical students. With major changes underway in the organization of all UBC health programs, the Faculty of Medicine, in collaboration with other units, has established an Aboriginal Health Strategy Working Group. A more integrated approach to UBC’s Aboriginal health initiatives will be of substantial benefit to both the university and Aboriginal people and communities, especially as the newly forming First Nations Health Authority begins the process of restructuring health administration and delivery for Aboriginal people throughout the province.
One of the key design goals of the Aboriginal Strategic Plan is to develop stable funding for Aboriginal initiatives: where a familiar historic pattern has been to fund Aboriginal initiatives for short periods of contingent funding, the ASP calls for the integration of Aboriginal initiatives into core unit funding processes. Section 10.5 of the ASP notes that
Although some aspects of planning, coordinating, and reviewing efforts in support of this plan may be undertaken as centralized functions, primary responsibility for identifying priorities and developing and implementing many of its aspects lies with individual units. Unit funding should be linked to progress in defining, developing and implementing initiatives in support of this plan. These initiatives should be integrated into unit academic and/or operational plans, assessments, and reviews. Specific goals and timeframes should be clearly identified.
The 2010 Implementation Report noted both optimism and some apprehension regarding progress towards this goal.
The 2009/10 budgetary process was an important moment for UBC Vancouver in addressing budgetary limitations and moving towards a new and more strategic budget process. In the very substantial changes that transition to this model entailed, some of the attention to the embedding of strategic priorities such as the ASP in budgets was lost. The administration has committed to the reassertion of this model in budgetary discussions in the new academic year. Even so, as unit summaries indicate, units have moved forward in taking responsibility for actions in support of the ASP that fall within their domains. These are welcome developments, and commitment to this model will be a primary factor in distinguishing UBC’s Aboriginal Strategic Plan from the many others that have relied on special (and therefore highly contingent) funding as their approach.
In the 2011-2012 budget process, a further step has been taken towards this goal. Units were instructed, in the preparation of their budget presentations, to include information identifying their commitments and priorities on two strategic initiatives, one of which was the Aboriginal Strategic Plan.
Units responded in varying ways and to varying degrees to this requirement. The unit summaries included in the Appendices to this document include summaries of what each unit identified in these presentations. It is clear that, as of yet, not every Faculty or unit has an Aboriginal strategy within which new and existing Aboriginal initiatives can be located and supported. If progress on the Aboriginal Strategic Plan is to continue and be fully embedded as an ongoing University commitment and priority, it is vital that this integration of Aboriginal priorities in core budget planning continue to develop as a regular feature, and that units be encouraged to represent their commitments and aspirations more fully.
Where Faculties and other units have not articulated unit-level Aboriginal strategies, it is now time that they do so: unit strategies are important frameworks within which the opportunities created by smaller budgeting units (departments, research units, even individual scholars), may be clearly assessed for their potential value, apart from unit interests, in making allocation decisions.
UBC is in the later phases of the Start an Evolution development campaign, the most ambitious university development campaign in Canadian history, with a goal of raising $1.5 billion. Aboriginal initiatives, to date, have not had a major presence in this campaign, but the development of a West Coast Centre of the National Research Centre of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, with which this document began, if approved, will require substantial fundraising and will provide a focus for Aboriginal initiatives in this campaign. Development priorities for Aboriginal initiatives across the university are now being defined and should have clear visibility within this campaign, even in the event the Centre project does not go forward.