In September of 2005, Aboriginal Access Services received Aboriginal Special Projects Funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education - Aboriginal Branch to work on the project Indigenizing our Academy to strategically plan post-secondary education for Aboriginal communities in traditional Stó:lō territory.
To begin the project, Mark Point was hired in October 2005 to consult with the Aboriginal community within the UFV catchment. Specifically, he was talking to people about developing an Aboriginal Studies department, enhancing Aboriginal research capacity, boosting Aboriginal enrolment, and improving retention and success of Aboriginal learners at UFV. In September of 2006, he submitted a four-page report containing his findings to UFV's Aboriginal Community Council.
Subsequent to his work and more importantly, upon the recommendations stemming from Mr. Point’s findings, UFV Aboriginal Access Services worked closely with the Aboriginal Community Council sub-committee to develop plans and make recommendations for post-secondary education at and with the University of the Fraser Valley. The resulting document which was circulated to Aboriginal leaders, Elders, community education staff and to Aboriginal educators encouraged open discussion on the development and improvement of Aboriginal post-secondary education programs and services with the University of the Fraser Valley.
Read Indigenizing Our Academy: Strategic Planning Indigenous Post-Secondary Education at UFV.
Note: This document is no longer being updated and is maintained for archival purpose only.
UFV strives to accept its roles and responsibilities in Indigenizing Our Academy through the work that was initiated in 2005. Since then we have launched a Bachelor of Arts Major and Minor in Indigenous Studies and witnessed the Aboriginal Access Services and their Aboriginal Resource Centre transition to the Indigenous Student Centre. In 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its Final Report with 94 Calls to Action, many of them directly linked to education, compelling UFV to accept a responsibility for Education for Reconciliation.
As the university accepts its multiple responsibilities and continues to lead the way in our community and among post-secondary institutes in Canada, it is critical that we look at addressing gaps, recognize new areas, and optimize our ability to be responsive at this intersection. A draft proposal for Lálém ye mestíyexw (“House of the Peoples”) was developed, the result of meetings by a working group (Shirley Hardman, Eric Davis, Peter Geller, Adrienne Chan, Ken Brealey, Sue Brigden, Tracy Ryder-Glass, Jacqueline Nolte and Sylvie Murray ). Lálém ye mestíyexw restructures and most notably moves away from a hierarchical/traditional organizational structure to adopt instead an Indigenous organizing structure at UFV. As described in Re-envisioning a structure for Indigenization, the Lálém ye mestíyexw provides a home for Indigenization in which people come together to strengthen their presence and relationships.
Because your input is invaluable to this process, you are encouraged to participate in this conversation. You may share your insights, recommendations, comments, and questions by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shirley Swelchalot Shxwha:ythel Hardman
Senior Advisor on Indigenous Affairs