We acknowledge that the UBC Vancouver campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam).

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UBC participation in Sept. 18 Truth and Reconciliation event

Sep 06, 2013 |

I am encouraging all faculty, staff and students to participate in activities linked to the visit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to UBC. Most classes are suspended September 18 for this event.

Our School sees progress toward greater autonomy and health of First Nations to be one of the most important foci for public health during the early part of the 21st century.

We certainly can contribute by offering training that prepares First Nations students to lead the way into tomorrow, but we will do a better job if we collectively understand the lessons of the past.

Kw’as ho:y.

David Patrick
Professor and Director
School of Population and Public Health

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established to collect testimony of survivors of the Indian Residential School System that operated from 1875 – 1996. Young Aboriginal children were forced from their families and suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse. When they returned to their communities, they found it difficult to re-integrate. Today many communities are still working to recover, and our society continues to feel the tragic legacy.

All students are encouraged to attend the TRC event at the PNE on September 18, as well as UBC campus events listed on this site.

Faculty members are asked to consider how they can incorporate material about this matter into classroom teaching, to encourage their students to attend the TRC and UBC campus events, and to participate themselves.

Staff can also consider the important issues of reconciliation by reviewing the web site and taking time during their breaks to take in campus exhibits.

Events of note:

September 11
10 am – 12 pm
Technology and Reconciliation: Legacy of Indian Residential Schools
Video Conference/Webinar
Pre-registration is required
The UBC Learning Circle invites you to attend a special session with Angela White, Workshop Coordinator with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

This workshop will walk through and take a glimpse at Canadian history and how colonial policies and legislation affected the Indigenous peoples of Canada. This session takes a deeper look at how these policies not only impacted residential school survivors directly, but also continue to impact the generations that followed. Angela will provide an objective presentation so that the audience can form their own conclusions.

This history is not ours to own, but to acknowledge. This is an Indigenous perspective, a history that was silenced. In the end true reconciliation is allowing people to hear this truth and move forward together.

September 12
10 am – 1 pm
Engaging Reconciliation in the Classroom: Critical Perspectives and Strategies
Liu Institute for Global Issues – Multipurpose Room
Pre-registration is requested due to limited space
In anticipation of the important conversations accompanying the Truth and Reconciliation Commission events at UBC, the First Nations Studies Program, in partnership with the Liu Institute, will hold a teach-in on engaging reconciliation in the classroom.

Featuring Indigenous and allied faculty, this event will provide participants with helpful critical perspectives and concrete strategies for initiating and moderating constructive conversations about reconciliation in the classroom and community alike.

September 12
7 pm – 9 pm
2013 Vancouver Human Rights Lecture: Human Rights and Today’s Aboriginal Children and Youth with Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, BC Representative for Children and Youth.
Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, 2260 West Mall, UBC
Pre-registration is required
In the 2013 Vancouver Human Rights Lecture, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond will cover a range of topics including a description of living conditions and statistics on Aboriginal children in BC, and how we might go about addressing these unacceptable statistics. She will discuss recent work of the Representative’s Office and the government’s role in Aboriginal services over the past ten or so years. She will also look at education past and present and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as related to the rights described in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is BC’s first Representative for Children and Youth, an Independent Officer of the Legislature who supports children, youth and families who need help in dealing with the child welfare system. Ms. Turpel Lafond has worked as a criminal law judge in youth and adult courts, with an emphasis on developing partnerships to better serve the needs of young people in the justice system, particularly sexually exploited children and youth, and children and youth with disabilities.

Ms. Turpel-Lafond is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and is active in her First Nations community. In 2007, the Indigenous Bar Association awarded her the distinction of ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Counsel’. Time magazine has twice bestowed honours upon Ms. Turpel-Lafond, naming her one of the 100 Global Leaders of Tomorrow in 1994, and one of the Top 20 Canadian Leaders for the 21st Century in 1999.

The 2013 Vancouver Human Rights Lecture is presented by The Laurier Institution, UBC Continuing Studies and CBC Radio One, and will be recorded for national broadcast on Ideas, CBC Radio’s program of contemporary thought.

September 17 All Nations Canoe Gathering
False Creek Come out to this free event and discover a significant piece of First Nation’s culture. Watch as beautiful cedar dugout canoes paddle into False Creek from Kits Point to Science World and are welcomed in a traditional ceremony to the Coast Salish lands.Reconciliation Canada recognizes and honors the cultural and spiritual aspects of the dugout canoes and the healing they bring to the people. This canoe day was initiated for First Nations to paddle their canoe into False Creek where a traditional protocol of welcome will occur by local First Nation tribes known as the host. Indian residential school survivors will partake in the water that day and paddle up for protocol for recognition and honor. This is a unique “All Nations” Canoe Gathering that invites Dragon boats and traditional kayaks to join in the day’s event.

The cultural significance of the canoe movement is the resurgence of songs, dances, names, language and teachings. What was dormant for so long woke up with a bang and the people responded. Since the resurgence of the canoes the participation has grown from under 20 canoes in 1989 to present day where there is up to 110 canoes that attend these cultural tribal journeys.

September 18 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada West Coast National Event
Vancouver Pacific Coliseum, and Agrodome Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada West Coast National Event; Opening ceremony, public and private testimonials, film viewing, educational sessions, archival displays and vendor offerings to be held at the Vancouver Pacific Coliseum, and Agrodome.

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