An educational partnership between the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the University of B.C., first signed on the eve of UBC Okanagan’s opening in 2005, has been renewed.
The memorandum reflects mutual recognition of the importance of a long-term relationship between UBC Okanagan and the indigenous people of the Southern Interior.
“Ten short years after opening the doors, this campus has been transformed and much thanks for that goes to the warm welcome UBC received right here in the valley,” said Martha Piper, UBC interim president.
The memorandum of understanding constitutes UBC’s formal recommitment to this relationship and to the education of aboriginal students, says Piper.
“Our commitment today is embodied in our aboriginal centre, dedicated to enriching the quality of the experience for aboriginal students, by promoting access, providing capacity-building opportunities and celebrating success.”
To commemorate the partnership, UBC will work with the Okanagan Nation Alliance to commission a work of art by an Okanagan Nation artist, and will install the art in a prominent place at the Okanagan campus.
“We have come a long way together, and we have a very strong working relationship with this campus,” said Westbank First Nation Chief Robert Louie, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Okanagan Nation chiefs executive council.
“We work together in co-operation and friendship to promote academic excellence for all of our students. It makes us proud to see the achievements and to know that the Okanagan Syilx people are part of that.”