What is Indigenization


 Indigenization at Okanagan College

Hand Drum

Okanagan College Indigenization is about connecting with and learning from Indigenous peoples and their respective knowledge ways. With this understanding, Okanagan College can develop respectful and inclusive knowledge relationships that will inform and converge with the college’s Strategic Plan, as well as create meaningful, inclusive programs and projects which look to the future cooperatively and responsibly.

The Okanagan-Syilx and Secwepemc have taken care of their homelands for thousands of years.
Many others who began to arrive 150 years ago or have arrived more recently have come to know this region as home. The urban Aboriginal community includes many Indigenous peoples, locally and from across BC and Canada.

Okanagan-Syilx, Secwepemc, Ktunaxa, First Nations,
Métis, Inuit and non-Indigenous Canadians are here to learn together. Using the skills, training and education offered through Okanagan College, we are able to connect to each other and create a culturally and ecologically diverse and sustaining future. That is fundamentally what Okanagan College Indigenization is about.


Justin Peters        OC Pow Wow 2015 4

Indigenization at Okanagan College is a transforming shift from past colonizing patterns of homogenization, exclusion and erasure of diverse Indigenous peoples’ knowledges, languages, identities and cultural and educational aspirations. Okanagan College has a strong record in terms of Aboriginal student recruitment, support and completion of programs. Okanagan College Indigenization looks to expand that record and develop meaningful knowledge relationships horizontally across departments, programs and courses, and vertically for projects, programs and courses with specific Indigenous content and outcomes with the Indigenous peoples in whose homelands its campuses are situated. Kelowna, Penticton, Summerland, and Vernon campuses are in Okanagan-Syilx territory. Salmon Arm Campus is in Secwepemc territory, and Revelstoke Campus is located where Okanagan-Syilx, Secwepemc and Ktunaxa homelands converge. Okanagan College Indigenization looks to connect each campus to respective Indigenous peoples’ knowledge, language and active presence. Those relationships will establish a welcoming and inclusive presence for all Indigenous students, for all students, faculty and staff.


Limlemt (Okanagan-Syilx expression of gratitude and respect)



Examples of Indigenization at other Organizations

University of Regina "Together We are Stronger" 2015-2020 Strategic Planlinks to external site
  100 Ways to Indigenize and decolonize academic programs and courseslinks to external siteby Shauneen Pete

University of the Fraser Valleylinks to external site 
An additional rich resource is their website titled "
Indigenizing the Academy: S'iwes Toti:It Q'ep University of the Fraser Valley"links to external site

Camosun College links to external site Indigenization Planlinks to external site

The Justice Institute of British Columbia - JIBClinks to external site
Link to their 2015-2020 report with an Indigenization Action Planlinks to external site 

Western Universitylinks to external site

University of Winnipeg links to external site
Link to their Strategic Plan 2015 "Growing Leaders"links to external site

Carleton University
Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategylinks to external site

Contact Information
Bill Cohen - Project Lead: bcohen@okanagan.bc.ca




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