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UBC to house Western Canada’s first residential school history centre

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Watch the announcement of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSC), to be built at UBC. This $5.5-million building in the heart of campus will recognize the history and experiences of residential school survivors, and memorialize the thousands of indigenous children who died while in attendance. 

 

Rendering of IRSC. Credit: Formline A+U.

The University of British Columbia formally announced today the construction of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSC). This $5.5-million building in the heart of campus will recognize the history and experiences of residential school survivors, and memorialize the thousands of indigenous children who died while in attendance.


Watch the event live at http://aboriginal.ubc.ca/live-broadcast/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/universityofbc


“While we are thankful for all of the First Nations leadership and UBC leadership that have brought this initiative to reality, the survivors and their families are first and foremost thankful for an accessible place of record,” said Cindy Tom-Lindley, a former residential school student at Kamloops Indian Residential School and executive director of the Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS).

Scheduled for completion in the 2017-18 academic year, IRSC will provide former students and their families with access to the records of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and give students and visitors ways to understand the history and lasting effects of Indian residential schools as a context for thinking about contemporary relationships. Advanced use of interactive media will give visitors the opportunity to explore extensive records and testimony and form their own understandings. The centre will also serve as a hub for academic and community research, education and public programming.

“The centre will provide the UBC community an opportunity for greater reflection on a difficult chapter in Canadian history,” said UBC President Santa Ono. “Recognition of our past is of critical importance to UBC and to all Canadians in planning our future. The centre will help us to collectively rethink the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in this country.”

An affiliate site to the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in Winnipeg, IRSC will particularly focus on the experiences of indigenous peoples in B.C., where many of the schools were located, and will provide local access to records for survivors and their families on the West Coast.

“An important function of this centre is to acknowledge the lives and histories of indigenous peoples in Canada,” said Linc Kesler, director of the UBC First Nations House of Learning. “Through both policy and inaction, the circumstances of indigenous peoples have often been invisible in all but the most superficial ways. It is a responsibility of the university and the educational system as a whole to change that and provide the basis for more informed interactions.”

Canada’s Indian residential school system started in the 1800s. The government-sponsored system forced an estimated 150,000 indigenous children out of their homes and into strict religious boarding schools. Many were physically and sexually abused, and some were used as test subjects in nutritional and other forms of experimentation. An estimated 6,000 children died while in attendance. The last residential school closed in 1996 in Saskatchewan.

PHOTOS:For building renderings, click here and here.

Background

When complete, IRSC will be a donor-funded, two-storey building covering approximately 6,500 square feet, located between Koerner Library and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

IRSC is developed in collaboration with Indian Residential School Survivor Society and in consultation with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. For more information, click here.

Additional quotes

DeDe DeRose, Member of UBC President’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Affairs

“I am honoured to witness today’s historical announcement. By creating the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, UBC ensures that Justice Sinclair’s recommendation in the Truth and Reconciliation Report is achieved. The centre provides a place to house the history about the devastating impact that residential schools had on Aboriginal peoples that has been hidden from Canadians for generations. My mother, Cecilia (Dick) DeRose’s, 1950-51 residential school report card will be housed in this landmark centre along with other memorabilia. This centre will provide an important learning opportunity to all Canadians.”

Grand Chief Edward John, First Nations Summit

“We commend UBC for its work to establish the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre. It will not only be an important resource for residential school survivors, it will also play an important role in the path of reconciliation by helping to preserve the history, and to tell the stories, of this very dark time in Canadian history. Reconciliation in Canada can only be achieved by acknowledging our collective history. It is critical to continue to provide opportunities for Canadians to be educated on the residential school system in Canada and the deep negative impacts on indigenous peoples and communities across this country.”

Sheryl Lightfoot, UBC Assistant Professor, First Nations and Indigenous Studies and Political Science

“The twin issues of reconciliation and re-setting relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples are truly global in scope, as forced residential schooling not only happened here in Canada but in other countries as well, including the United States, and so the legacies of this history are far-reaching as well. I am happy to see UBC host this centre, which will play an important role in public education and dialogue, with the hope of more just and respectful relationships in the future. I look forward to the opportunity to bring my students to this centre and actively engage them in these critical conversations.”

Aboriginal engagement at UBC

UBC has a long-standing commitment to aboriginal engagement, a key component of “Place and Promise”, the university’s strategic plan.

UBC has a number of programs and courses with an aboriginal focus, including Canada’s oldest aboriginal law program, an indigenous teacher education program, an aboriginal residency program for medical students, the First Nations Languages program, and the interdisciplinary First Nations and Indigenous Studies program. As well, a number of resources and initiatives at UBC focus on furthering the understandings of indigenous cultures and histories into its curriculum and operations.

UBC recognizes its Vancouver and Kelowna campuses are situated on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Musqueam Indian Band and the Okanagan First Nation.

 

Source: http://news.ubc.ca/2016/09/12/ubc-to-house-western-canadas-first-residential-school-history-centre/

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First Nations Mother and Son Graduate From UBC Together

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FIRST NATIONS MOTHER AND SON GRADUATE FROM UBC TOGETHER


May 26, 2016 – Watching a loved one graduate from university is a proud moment, but for Jocelyne and Randy Robinson, the pride will be twofold as the mother and son graduate from the University of British Columbia a day apart.

Randy, 31, who once worked as a janitor scrubbing toilets, is graduating from the Peter A. Allard School of Law. Jocelyne, a sculptor and single mother who raised seven children in East Vancouver, is graduating with a PhD in education.

The Robinsons are Algonquin from the Timiskaming First Nation in Quebec. They share a strong commitment to use their degrees to help improve the lives of other indigenous peoples.

“We’re overrepresented in the criminal justice system, but underrepresented as lawyers,” said Randy, who spent time during law school working at the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic in the Downtown Eastside. “Growing up, I saw the inequities that exist for indigenous peoples. I wanted to become a lawyer to give them a voice, so they have that perspective and advocacy of a fellow indigenous person in court.”For Jocelyne, pursuing a PhD was motivated by her experiences in the classroom as a high school educator. Her PhD work focused on ways to attract more indigenous students to careers in math and science.

“My goal is to leave a legacy behind for the next generation,” she said. “It wasn’t that long ago Aboriginal Peoples couldn’t go to university or practice law. Or even leave the reserve. It’s pretty incredible that we’re here.”

Randy’s graduation ceremony is May 25. Jocelyne’s is May 26. They’ll be celebrating their academic achievements together along with other Aboriginal graduates at the First Nations House of Learning’s annual graduation celebration at the UBC First Nations Longhouse on May 28.

STORY UPDATE: May 28th CTV news story


Source: Indigenous mother-son duo overcome odds, graduate from UBC – together

Page Modified: May 31, 2016

Successful Applicants for the 2016 Summer Sessional Lectureships

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The First Nations and Indigenous Studies program would like to congratulate June Scudeler and Lindsay Lachance as the successful applicants for the 2016 Summer Sessional Lectureships in the teaching of the following FNIS courses:

FNIS 210 003 (3) Indigenous Politics and Self-Determination
Term 1 (May – June, 2016)

FNIS 220 003 (3) Representation and Indigenous Cultural Politics
Term 2 (July – August, 2016)

Original Post at First Nations & Indigenous Studies (Facebook Page)

Musqueam Post dedicated at UBC Vancouver campus

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Musqueam artist Brent Sparrow Jr. carved the new Musqueam Post during UBC’s Centennial year. Photo credit: Reese Muntean

The Musqueam people and the University of British Columbia acknowledged their developing partnership today with the dedication of a striking cedar post installed prominently on the Point Grey campus, which is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

Carved by talented Musqueam artist, Brent Sparrow Jr., the post tells an origin story of the Musqueam involving a two-headed serpent.

“We cherish the relationship between the university and the Musqueam,” said Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow. “As UBC is on our traditional territory, it’s important that we work together closely to share our culture and look for opportunities to work together.”

The new Musqueam post is now installed, facing east towards the new Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre and the campus entrance, at the foot of a cascading water feature at University Boulevard and East Mall.

“This beautiful post will serve as a permanent welcome to all visitors to these grounds and as a reminder of our relationship with the Musqueam people who were here long before UBC’s history began,” said Interim President Martha Piper. “Its dedication, one of the closing events of UBC’s Centennial year, points towards renewed—and stronger—relationships in the future.”

The land upon which UBC and the post are situated has always been a place of learning for the Musqueam people, where culture, history, and traditions have been passed from one generation to the next.

A time-lapse video of the installation of the Musqueam post can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/1ii_DjN1kz8

A photo gallery of the creation of the Musqueam post can be viewed here: http://100.ubc.ca/galleries/musqueam-post/

For more on the post and the history of the Musqueam-UBC relationship, see http://centennial.aboriginal.ubc.ca

For more about partnership between the Musqueam and UBC, including academic courses and youth programs, visit: http://aboriginal.ubc.ca/community-youth/musqueam-and-ubc/

Brent Sparrow Jr. speaks about the Musqueam Post:

“This qeqən (post) tells the story of the origin of our name xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam). The old people spoke of a small lake called xʷməm̓qʷe:m (Camosun Bog) where the sʔi:ɬqəy̓ (double-headed serpent) originated. They were warned as youth to be cautious and not go near or they would surely die. This sʔi:ɬqəy̓ was so massive its winding path from the lake to the stal̕əw̓ (river) became the creek flowing through Musqueam to this day. Everything the serpent passed over died and from its droppings bloomed a new plant, the məθkʷəy̓. For this reason the people of long ago named that place xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam – place of the məθkʷəy̓)

This qeqən represents our xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) ancestors and our ongoing connection to them and this land through their teachings. The figure is holding the sʔi:ɬqəy̓’s tail to showcase this sχʷəy̓em̓’s (ancient history) passage through generations, relating how we became known as xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people – People of the məθkʷəy̓ plant. The scalloping reflects the sʔi:ɬqəy̓’s path and trigons represent the unique məθkʷəy̓ plant. The sʔi:ɬqəy̓’s stomach is said to have been as big as a storage basket, designed here as an oval. I drew upon these traditional design elements to depict this rich history.”

Significant Musqueam-UBC milestones

1927: A pair of Musqueam house posts are presented to UBC: http://100.ubc.ca/timeline/musqueam-house-posts-are-presented-to-ubc/

1993: The First Nations Longhouse, built in consultation with Musqueam and many other Aboriginal groups, opens as a gathering place for Aboriginal students and a place of learning for people from the broader community.

2006: The University of British Columbia and the Musqueam Indian Band sign a historic memorandum of affiliation to further the sharing of knowledge and the advancement of Musqueam and Aboriginal youth and adults in post-secondary education.

2 Native Women Elected to National Academy of Education

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henrietta-mann
Henrietta Mann, Tsetsehestaestse (Cheyenne), is one of 11 elected to the National

2 Native Women Elected to National Academy of Education

3/10/16

Dr. Henrietta Mann, Tsetsehestaestse (Cheyenne), and K. Tsianina Lomawaima (Mvskoke/Creek Nation) were recently elected to the National Academy of Education.

Mann is the now retired founding president of Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College, and Lomawaima is a professor of justice and social inquiry, and distinguished scholar of indigenous education at the Center for Indian Education at Arizona State University.

They were among 11 elected for membership by Dr. Michael Feuer, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University and President of the National Academy of Education (NAEd).

NAEd celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015, and has 199 U.S. members and 11 foreign associates who are elected based on outstanding scholarship related to education.

“I was astonished to be elected to this body of esteemed educators, just as committed to education as any one of them, yet, in my own unique cultural-based way. As my daughter once described me, education has always represented the true north on my compass,” Mann told ICTMN. “I came from a people who valued education, which was nurtured in me, and became my joy as a teacher and later as a university professor. It was an educational journey from the home of a great-grandmother, who was a healer of horses for peoples who pursued bison across the northern and southern plains to a journey throughout the halls of learning in such places as the University of California, Berkeley; Graduate School of Education, Harvard University; University of Montana; Montana State University; and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College located on the campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State University. What a fulfilling educational experience and contribution. Now, membership in the National Academy of Education—my heart sings.”

Mann was the first person to occupy the Katz Endowed Chair in Native American Studies at Montana State University, Bozeman, where she is Professor Emerita, but continues to serve as Special Assistant to the President.

In 1991, Mann was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 10 leading professors in the nation, and in 2008, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Indian Education Association.

The College Board, Native American Student Advocacy Institute presented Mann with its first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, and has since created the Dr. Henrietta Mann Leadership Award to acknowledge and thank leaders for their advocacy in improving lives within Native communities. In 2014, MONEY Magazine named her a MONEY Hero Award Winner, one of 50 Unsung Heroes/50 States, conferred for her extraordinary work with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal College in improving the financial well-being of others.

Lomawaima joined Arizona State University in January 2014. From 1994-2014 she served on the faculty of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona, serving as head from 2005-2009. From 1988–1994, she was a member of the Anthropology & American Indian Studies faculty at the University of Washington.

K. Tsianina Lomawaima is one of 11 elected to the National Academy of Education.
K. Tsianina Lomawaima is one of 11 elected to the National Academy of Education.

Lomawaima has received numerous teaching honors, including the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award. She also served as 2012-2013 President of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association/NAISA, which she helped found in 2007. She was also awarded the Western History Association Lifetime Achievement Award for American Indian History in 2010.

“It’s a tremendous honor… As someone who works in indigenous studies and as a historian it took me by surprise,” Lomawaima told ICTMN. “I’m amazed that it happened, and just deeply honored.”

The full list of those elected to the NAEd is below:

Ron Astor, University of Southern California

Joan L. Herman, National Center for Research

Glynda A. Hull, University of California, Berkeley

Deanna Kuhn, Teachers College, Columbia University

K. Tsianina Lomawaima, Arizona State University

Henrietta Mann, Cheyenne Arapaho Tribal College

Russell Rumberger, University of California, Santa Barbara

Anna Sfard, University of Haifa

Carola Suárez-Orozco, University of California, Los Angeles

William F. Tate IV, Washington University in St. Louis

“It is my pleasure to welcome these leaders who represent the rich diversity of fields that study education,” Feuer said.

 

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2016/03/10/2-native-women-elected-national-academy-education-163697

Melanie Mark, NDP MLA, Is 1st First Nations Woman Elected To B.C. Legislature

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Posted: 02/03/2016 8:55 am EST Updated: 02/03/2016 9:59 am EST
MELANIE MARK

Melanie Mark grew up in one of Canada’s poorest neighbourhoods, bouncing around the social housing system while her mother struggled with addiction and her siblings lived in foster care.

Decades later, she’s about to become the first indigenous woman to be elected to B.C.’s legislature in the province’s history.

Mark, a New Democrat, snagged a seat in her party’s stronghold of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant in a byelection Monday. She handily defeated Liberal Gavin Dew and Green candidate Pete Fry with over 60 per cent of the vote.

The mother of two will be replacing Jenny Kwan, who moved into federal politics as NDP MP for Vancouver-East last October.

melanie mark
Mark at a campaign launch event in April 2015. (Photo: Facebook)

Mark was a frontrunner throughout the campaign, which was an experience that provided a stark contrast from a childhood marked with hardship.

Now 40, the politician grew up in social housing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside — an impoverished neighbourhood known for high levels of homelessness, addiction, and mental illness.

Mark’s mother — now 10 years sober — was an alcoholic. Her father was also an addict and died from an overdose when she was in her 20s, the MLA wrote in a letter published by the Georgia Straight last week.

Mark, who is of Cree, Nisga’a, Gitxsan, and Ojibway descent, also had several siblings living in foster care. The future politician said she was left to support them for 16 years, working with “relentless passion” while her mother struggled with addiction.

melanie mark
Mark at a campaign event before winning the byelection in her riding of Vancouver-Mount Pleasant on Feb. 2, 2016. (Photo: Melanie Mark’s Campaign/Flickr)

Mark was shuffled into “over 30” different homes growing up in the neighbourhood, she told the Straight.

But her takeaway from it all, according to her website, wasn’t frailty.

It was “warrior strength.”

Youth advocacy and provincial politics

Mark, who studied political science at B.C.’s Simon Fraser University, spent years advocating for children and youth in the province and across Canada. She worked with organizations such as Covenant House Vancouver, Save the Children, the RCMP, and co-founded Vancouver’s Aboriginal Policing Community Centre.

She also volunteered as president of the city’s Urban Native Youth Association, which helps indigenous youth settle into city life.

Before her foray into politics, Mark worked with B.C. children’s watchdog Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond for nearly a decade.

The politician announced her bid for B.C. legislature in April.

“There was no chance in hell I was going to stand on the sidelines.”

Throughout her campaign, Mark focused on youth advocacy, affordable housing, poverty reduction, and education.

“I’ve never worked so hard to get a job,” the candidate told the Vancouver Courier last year.

Mark’s First Nations heritage was also at the forefront — a part of her identity that shows how far the MLA-elect has come.

“My early days weren’t easy. There was a lot of struggle, and there certainly wasn’t a lot of pride. I faced so much racism in school, and bullies, and really had to fight — whether that [was against] the experiences that my family confronted [or] how my brothers were treated in care,” Mark said at a campaign event on Sunday.

“There was no chance in hell I was going to stand on the sidelines.”

Angelique EagleWoman becomes new dean of Lakehead law school

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Attorney and professor brings a wealth of experience in Indigenous law, say university officials

CBC News Posted: Jan 13, 2016 6:40 AM ETLast Updated: Jan 13, 2016 11:43 AM ET

Angelique EagleWoman has been appointed the new dean of Lakehead University's Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. EagleWoman will leave her current postion at the University of Idaho College of Law, where she is a law professor and a legal
scholar.

Angelique EagleWoman has been appointed the new dean of Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. EagleWoman will leave her current postion at the University of Idaho College of Law, where she is a law professor and a legal scholar. (Supplied)

Listen to audio recording…

A northern Ontario university says the new dean of its law school will be the first aboriginal woman to hold that position in Canada.

Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., has appointed Angelique EagleWoman to lead the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law starting in May, a month before the fledgling law school’s first class is set to graduate.

EagleWoman will leave her current postion at the University of Idaho College of Law, where she is a law professor and a legal scholar.

She told CBC News she’s impressed with the Lakehead faculty’s focus on rural and small-town practice, environmental law, and Indigenous law.

“Those three areas are all areas I’ve taught in and I have experience in, and I write a lot of articles about,” she said. “So I just thought ‘what a perfect match.'”

EagleWoman has taught in the areas of Tribal Nation economics and law, and Native American natural resources law. She has also published articles on topics like tribal economics and quality of life for Indigenous peoples, according to a Lakehead University press release.

Wants to build ‘distinguished’ law school

She takes over the position in Thunder Bay from the school’s first dean, Lee Stuesser, who resigned in 2015.

EagleWoman said she doesn’t feel that being relatively new to Canada will be an issue, adding that things like environmental law and Indigenous law share common traits on both sides of the border.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations coming out are very common issues with people that are both in the United States and in Canada who are Indigenous,” she said.

“So there’s a real commonality there, and the land doesn’t know political boundaries.”

EagleWoman said she wants to see the school grow and continue to be a forward-thinking institution.

“I hope to move the law school from the start-up phase to taking its place as a distinguished law school, along with the other Ontario and national law schools,” she said.

A biography posted on the school’s site says one of the highlights of her career was serving as general counsel for her own tribe, the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in Dakota.

with files from The Canadian Press.

Reference:

(2016, January 18) Audio – Angelique EagleWoman becomes new dean of Lakehead law school. CBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/law-school-canada-aboriginal-dean-1.3400903?__vfz=tc%3D7c4KA0bOGi9