Research & Resources

Indigenous Initiatives has developed and collaborated on projects funded by various granting bodies at UBC (i.e. Equity Enhancement Fund, Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund, Centennial Projects Funds). We gratefully acknowledge the financial support contributed by these grants to our ongoing research and resource development.

The resources we develop and support are used in classrooms and other educational spaces to explore how knowledge gaps, social location and histories of place affect and inform learning. We are committed to collaborative, ethical, evidence-based, and reciprocal research and educational resource development informed through engagement with local Indigenous communities and scholars across different disciplines.

We utilize video and online platforms in many of our resources to make them accessible to a public audience. Please use and share the resources on this page; we only ask, when you do so, that you acknowledge the people and organizations who have contributed to and produced the work.

If you have an idea for a resource you would like to see developed, please contact us.

Online educational resources

Classrooms, especially classrooms at major institutions like UBC, are becoming increasingly diverse and require attention in order to have effective cross-cultural discussions. What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom works to improve the conversations around politically and culturally sensitive issues in a classroom by asking: how does communication around identity, histories, power and privilege happen in a classroom, and how can it be better supported?

This project examines the classroom experiences of students, instructors, and administrators at UBC in order to make these problems visible, to better understand how difficulties arise, and to find ways for more professional and productive classroom discussions. The project clearly identified the complexities and challenges of classroom conversations involving contentious cross-cultural discussions and asks instructors and TA’s to reflect on their current teaching and think about ways that it supports a productive climate for all students; particularly when discussing Indigenous course content, lives, and perspectives.
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Students enter university with differing levels of knowledge about Indigenous issues. This makes it difficult to have meaningful discussions on Aboriginal topics beyond an introductory level. Indigenous Foundations is a website project developed by the First Nations Studies Program. It provides an accessible starting point for instructors, researchers, and students in any discipline who want to learn more about Aboriginal cultures, politics, and histories.

The information presented is concise and easily digestible, while still conveying the depth and complexities of the topics. Indigenous Foundations incorporates learning tools such as video interviews and other multimedia outlets to create an engaging resource. Instructors draw on this resource to bridge prior knowledge gaps that might exist in their classes as well as build class activities, pre-reading assignments.
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Time and Place at UBC: Our Histories and Relations documents UBC’s key historical moments with Aboriginal peoples, while locating these moments in broader contexts at institutional, provincial, and national levels (i.e., UBC, BC, and Canada). Although the special focus of the timeline is on Aboriginal peoples, it is not only about them, nor is it only about the past. Rather, the timeline intends to speak to us all – Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples alike at UBC – to build a shared understanding of the specificities and complexity of the time and place that we share today.

Specifically, the timeline aims to:

  1. Develop our awareness of the history of this place at UBC, on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.
  2. Offer a historical lens through which we reflect on our relations at UBC by allowing us to embed ourselves in the multiple historical layers of this place.

The timeline is not a static and exhaustive list of historical events in Canada or of Aboriginal peoples, and it continues to be work in progress. We welcome your input and collaboration on the project.
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The Canadian Parliament established the Berger Inquiry on March 21, 1974 to review plans to build an oil and gas pipeline down the Mackenzie Valley. This inquiry was commissioned by the Government of Canada to investigate the social, environmental, and economic impact of a proposed gas pipeline that would run through the Yukon and the Mackenzie River Valley of the Northwest Territories. This proposed pipeline became known as the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline. The Berger Inquiry educational resource is an interactive new-media tool that offers learners hands-on experience examining the evidence to learn more about Indigenous rights, history, activism, consultation processes, economic development and resource management.
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This film series reveals the historical context of the site known today as Totem Park Residence, the contested history of its building naming processes, and stories of UBC-Indigenous relations.

The first two films about the həm̓ləsəm̓ and q̓ələχən Houses are now available through the UBC CTLT Aboriginal Initiatives playlist on UBC's YouTube Channel. They feature interviews with Larry Grant and Wayne Point from the Musqueam First Nation. The next six films about the original six house names, chosen without community consultation in the 1960s, will be launched in 2016.
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Where Are We in the World? is a series of short films being developed that engage UBC students and the wider public with sites around the Lower Mainland shaped by histories of struggle and agency that are often ignored. The focus of this initiative is to provide a strong foundation to answer questions of “where” UBC and City of Vancouver are located.

Two of the completed films in this series explore Vancouver’s Chinatown and the Komagata Maru Incident of 1914. Beginning in the summer of 2016, two more films will be developed with a focus on Musqueam Legal Histories and relationships between Musqueam and UBC. Three Musqueam youth have been hired to join the production team for the last set of films.