Leaders from public post-secondary institutions and Aboriginal institutes of higher learning met to discuss how to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report Calls to Action within the public post-secondary education system in British Columbia.
The B.C. Public Post-Secondary Truth and Reconciliation Summit took place at the Wosk Centre in Vancouver on Oct. 19 and Oct. 20, 2016.
Participants discussed the role that post-secondary institutions can play in reconciliation. Summit working group sessions focused on:
- Engagement with Indigenous communities
- The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and Curricula
- Incorporating Indigenous protocols into institutional practice
- Indigenous research
Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson and Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad addressed the summit, which was jointly hosted by Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) and the Ministry of Advanced Education.
During the two-day summit there were keynote addresses from: Chief Shawn Atleo, Hereditary Chief of the Ahousaht First Nation and former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in Canada; Doug White, director of the Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation at Vancouver Island University; and Clara Morin-Dalcol, president, Métis Nation BC.
The Ministry of Advanced Education provided funding to NVIT to organize the two-day summit. NVIT is an Aboriginal public post-secondary institute with a provincial mandate to offer a range of education and training programs. Approximately 80% of students at NVIT are Aboriginal.
Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson –
“The public post-secondary sector has a role to play in reconciliation by working to ensure our institutions are respectful, responsive and welcoming to Aboriginal peoples. This summit was another step in our partnership with Aboriginal peoples to ensure that Aboriginal students have the opportunity to succeed within our public institutions and programs.”
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad –
“This B.C. Public Post-Secondary Truth and Reconciliation Summit is an example of the collaborative work government is doing with Aboriginal groups and communities to close the education gap for Aboriginal students. It is critical that Aboriginal students have the education and training they need to support their communities and find their place in our growing economy.”
Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association vice-chair and En’owkin Centre executive director Lauren Terbasket –
“It is encouraging to see so many post-secondary leaders come together in the spirit of cooperation to focus on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations and how we can advance them together. First Nations post-secondary and adult education institutes will have an integral role in this process of transformation.”
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology president Ken Tourand –
"NVIT is honoured to co-host B.C.’s post-secondary summit for the purpose of collectively responding to the recommendations and calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. As B.C.'s Aboriginal public post-secondary institute, NVIT is excited to partner with the Ministry of Advanced Education to bring together post-secondary institutions committed to Indigenous education and the collaborative creation of a made-for-B.C. approach to advance reconciliation efforts within higher education.
“NVIT is grateful for the keynote speakers, special guests and colleague institutions for engaging in this unique opportunity to discuss Indigenous education, student success, and the building of meaningful relationships with Aboriginal communities. I am optimistic that this two-day Truth and Reconciliation Summit will have a significant impact on Indigenous post-secondary education in B.C. for years to come."
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada final report: http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=890
Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan: http://www.aved.gov.bc.ca/aboriginal/policy-framework.htm
Factsheet – Making Progress towards Reconciliation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/factsheets/factsheet-making-progress-toward-reconciliation
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology: http://www.nvit.ca/bct-rsymposium.htm