Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Center
UBC is working towards the development of a centre in the heart of the Vancouver campus that will address the history and legacy of the Indian Residential School system that existed in Canada for more than a century. The system had devastating effects on individuals, families, and communities, and many of those effects persist through this day.
The proposed Centre at UBC will be affiliated with the National Research Centre established by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in Winnipeg. It will provide a place for former students, their families and communities, researchers and others to access the records gathered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It will be a useful resource for public information and the development of curricula, and for everyone to come and learn about the schools and their significance in Canadian history, and to think about ways that we can all contribute to better discussions and a better future, based on a clearer and more complete understanding of our shared past.
At present, UBC has committed substantial funding to the capital costs for the Centre, but further funding must be secured before the proposal can be taken forward for final approval. We are currently seeking additional funding for further development and programming. Please take a minute to read the proposal, or the shorter brief for funders — both can be accessed here.
In spite of the apology delivered by Prime Minister Harper in Parliament in 2008, many Canadians don’t know much about this history because, until recently, it has remained a hidden history. If you would like to know more, please visit the UBC Indigenous Foundations website, where you will find concise information to help you build an understanding.
In September 2013, UBC very actively participated in the Vancouver National Event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. At that event, UBC President Stephen Toope spoke about the university’s commitment and intent to develop this Centre. The video of his presentation can be found here (be sure to click on his photo).
If you’d like to see all that happened on campus during that time, please take a few minutes to read this page.