Aboriginal Education Council
The UBC Okanagan's campus (UBCO) and Okanagan College (OC) Aboriginal Education Council (Council) will provide OC and UBCO with advice, recommendations and guidance to improve the participation and success of Aboriginal students in OC and UBCO programs.
Through collaborative and inclusive engagement, the Council will assist OC and UBCO in identifying educational needs and goals of Aboriginal peoples, whilst also enhancing Aboriginal cultural understandings within the respective institutions. As a means to enact the mandate and vision of the Council, Council will be governed as defined in the terms below:
- Providing direction on culturally and empirically informed educational approaches that accurately reflect the needs and goals of Aboriginal people through a process of reviewing, researching and making recommendations on proposed program and service developments
- Monitoring the implementation of Aboriginal programs and services
- Participating in the review of, and making recommendations for OC and UBCO program and service evaluations
- Committing to representing respective constituencies through maintaining an engaged level of involvement in council meetings and sub-committee work
The Council will assist in the process of encouraging Aboriginal student participation in post-secondary education at UBCO and OC and, to that end, will provide the First Nation bands and Aboriginal organizations with accurate and up-to-date information regarding programs, services, and policies at UBCO and OC.
The Council will develop recommendations for the revision of the UBCO and OC Aboriginal Education Council Terms of Reference.
Aspire to continually enhance awareness of Aboriginal people and levels of cultural competency amongst student, faculty and staff.
Support Aboriginal learners through a multidimensional and holistic set of provisions designed to enhance their learning experience.
Excel in educational outcomes at all levels of post-secondary engagement for Aboriginal learners.
Revitalize education through a process of indigenizing the academy and fostering healthy relationships within the Aboriginal community.
Operation and structure
The structure of the council provides an avenue of operation to enhance educational opportunities for Aboriginal learners and strengthen community relationships. Through a collective process of deliberation, Council will assure decisions are made in accordance with council terms; including respecting community practices, social laws and values.
Furthermore, both UBCO and OC will continue to acknowledge territories and cultural protocols of the Syilx and Secwepmec people, thereby promoting cultural understandings within the respective institutions. The course of action by which Council will meet, make decisions, and thereby commit to enacting the Council vision will be conducted in accordance with the terms defined below:
The co-chairperson(s) from UBCO and OC will be non-voting members of the Council, chairing meetings, and looking after the administrative duties required by the council. Designate chairs will be non-voting members of the Council and serve as co-chairs.
The Council will meet on a quarterly basis and will meet at least three times during the academic year. The four quarterly meetings will have an alternating schedule between co-chairing institutions and communities as defined below:
- North Community - October
- UBCO/OC - December
- South Community - February
- UBCO/OC - June
The Council co-chairpersons will arrange for the schedule of meetings and preparation of the agenda. Subsequent meeting workshop topics and meeting dates will be defined prior to the commencement of each council meeting. When possible, Institution partners may be invited to attend and present during Council meetings. Council co-chairs will review presentation submissions and deem appropriateness for Council agendas.
Notice of meetings will be given to the members of the Council at least one month prior to the meeting. The agenda and supporting documentation will be circulated seven working days in advance of the regular meetings.
Additional meetings of the Council will be based on the decision of the Council co-chairpersons or sub-committees. Notice of such meetings will be given to the Council or sub-committee members at least two weeks in advance of the meeting date. The agenda and supporting documentation will be circulated at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
The minutes of Council meetings will be circulated to the members of the Council, to OC President and Regional Deans and Deputy Vice Chancellor, UBCO within two weeks of a meeting.
The minutes will be made publicly accessible, and will be stored electronically in the office of the co-chairpersons.
The Council will form and dissolve sub-committees as required to accomplish Council objectives. Sub-committees meeting schedule will be decided on an as needed basis.
Quorum for a Council meeting will be at least 50% of the regular members. A series of absences from Council meetings by a member may result in review of membership.
Council members have the option to teleconference or video conference into a Council meeting and contribute to quorum.
All voices, including students, are welcome to attend Council meetings. Observers, invited guests do not carry voting privileges nor do they represent a seat for quorum.
All of Council correspondence will be conducted primarily through email list-serve and telephone. Co-chairpersons are responsible for updating list-serve contact information, and Council members are responsible for informing co-chairpersons of any changes to membership or contact information. Council will openly disclose meeting minutes, post relevant Council information as well as broader Aboriginal education information, events and postings on a central Council community web portal.
The Council will consist of persons who are knowledgeable and experienced in Aboriginal education and who are drawn from Aboriginal populations. Members are expected to attend all meetings; in the event that a member cannot attend, that member is responsible for ensuring their alternative can attend. Regular membership will normally consist of not fewer than seven members.
Communities and organizations are required to maintain an involved and engaged level of representation. All nominees to the Council must be formally ratified by the respective First Nation band or Aboriginal organization. Every member must have an formally designated alternate. Council will be comprised of no less than one UBCO and one OC representative. Each representative term of appointment will be until member resigns, upon which the representative is expected to submit a resignation letter and name of replacement, if applicable. An initial appointment, renewal or resignation should be sent electronically. In the event of Council vacancies, Council co-chairpersons are responsible for contacting Band Managers or organization Executive Directors to confirm membership participation.
Each of the following First Nations and Aboriginal organizations will be invited to submit one name to UBCO and OC for appointment to the Council:
- Lower Similkameen Indian Band
- Upper Similkameen Indian Band
- Osoyoos Indian Band
- Penticton Indian Band
- Westbank First Nation
- Okanagan Indian Band
- Splatsin Indian Band
- Adams Lake Indian Band
- Little Shuswap Indian Band
- Okanagan Training and Development Council
- Neskonlith Indian Band
- Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society (Kelowna, B.C.)
- First Nations Friendship Centre (Vernon, B.C.)
- Ooknakane Friendship Centre (Penticton, B.C.)
- Aboriginal Student Education Council Club (UBCOSU)
- Aboriginal Student Education Council Club (OCSU)
- Kelowna Métis Society
- Penticton Métis Society
- Vernon Métis Society
- Salmon Arm Métis Society
The mandate and operational endeavors will be guided by the Council’s values. Recognizing the importance of these values in pursuing the Council vision, the fulfilment of all Council initiatives will be foundationally grounded in the following:
Council will engage in collaborative working relationships with community, secondary schools, industry and other post-secondary institutions to collectively enhance educational opportunities for Aboriginal learners, within both the academy and community.
Council members represent the constituencies they serve and will demonstrate responsibility in ensuring adherence to Council Terms of Reference. Council co-chairpersons will openly share relevant council documents and other related information on a public platform as a means to keep community abreast on educational advancements.
Council will maintain a continual level of open and respectful dialogue between UBCO, OC, regional communities and Aboriginal organizations.
Council will promote intercultural understanding and ensure the reflectiveness of Aboriginal learning approaches are represented within institutions as a means to create culturally welcoming places for Aboriginal learners and strengthen the contributions to learning environments.
Council will engage in mutually beneficial relationships, and ensure educational endeavors support the compassion, consideration and equality for Aboriginal learners of all levels.
Council will continually increase the number of meaningful opportunities for Aboriginal learners to access and engage in educational programming, supports and services; thereby fostering a learning environment that facilitates their academic and career goals.
Council will demonstrate a level of commitment towards establishing, enhancing and/or increasing the following key directions:
- Maintaining and expanding Aboriginal student support programs and services
- Maintaining and expanding Aboriginal academic program development
- Culturally welcoming Aboriginal Gathering place – Okanagan/Shuswap centres
- Marketing and recruitment initiatives
- Aboriginal employment equity
- Aboriginal seat(s) on board of governors
- Aboriginal graduation numbers across all levels of post-secondary engagement
- Provision of resident hall spaces for Aboriginal students, and Aboriginal specific housing
- Provision of dedicated spaces for Aboriginal learners in all educational settings
- Provision of space for Aboriginal Counselors
- Provision of space dedicated for Elders, knowledge keepers and other cultural programming
- Provision of day-care seats for Aboriginal Students
- Employment and industry as bridged to education
- Engagement with campus partners, including leadership
- Engagement with En’owkin, Aboriginal education institutions, communities and industry partners
- Programming and credential transferability