Two recent UBC awards strengthen Indigenous ties and community


November 10, 2021

The way we treat each other in our own community says a lot about how we collectively see ourselves as global citizens, as responsibility, respect and reciprocity begin with us. It is a basic tenant of In service, UBC’s ambitious global engagement strategy launched in April 2021, and two recent fundraising awards highlight this by deepening and expanding Indigenous community, connections and opportunities locally, nationally and internationally. .

UBC Go Global’s Global Indigenous Connections project won $ 412,000 from the Universities Canada Innovation Fund on September 30. Combined with Go Global student grants and in-kind work, the funding will total $ 500,000 over four years. In addition, Universities Canada has granted $ 500,000 to the Faculty of Forestry at UBC to expand international study options for indigenous, disabled and low-income students to non-traditional countries, such as Ecuador, Chile. , Germany, Austria, Italy and Finland.

“We are thrilled with these awards because they are exactly the type of programs we need today,” said UBC President and Vice Chancellor Santa J. Ono. “We consider that our role plays a central role in building a better world, by being ‘at the service’ of people, ideas and the planet.

UBC International Vice-Rector Dr. Murali Chandrashekaran said: “Catalyze transformative learning experiences in global contexts, on global issues – and accompany students on their journey to global citizenship and leadership. – is essential for In service. Meaningful collaborations that emphasize our common values ​​pave the way.

Go Global, Global Indigenous Connections

Building personal relationships between Indigenous peoples around the world can often be the difference between alienation and belonging, isolation and community. UBC sophomore student Hunter Lang said, who participated in Go Global’s first Global Indigenous Connections online forum: “I was learning first-hand from community members who are the ones feeling the effects of colonialism and genocide / cultural invisibility. ”

Substantially expanding access is a critical part of the program, said Taryn Cigagna, director of Go Global. “It provides students with both virtual and in-person learning opportunities aimed at connecting Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at UBC with Indigenous students, faculty and community members in other regions.” of the world, ”she said.

Launched in February 2021, Global Indigenous Connections is a multi-faceted program. The goal is to connect Indigenous and non-Indigenous UBC students with Indigenous students, faculty, and community members from near and far. In addition to in-person sessions at partner universities halfway around the world, it gives students who might not be able to travel for financial, family or personal reasons a chance to enroll virtually.

The Innovation Fund inspired the program, which began in February as a virtual exchange pilot, funded by a grant from Universities Canada. “Indigenous Peoples of the Global South” included four Zoom workshops for indigenous UBC students to learn with and indigenous peoples from Argentina and Brazil.

One of the objectives of the pilot project was to test approaches to prepare students for the transition to face-to-face experiences, as well as to create new alliances to fill gaps in student resources and work opportunities at school. ‘foreigner. Another objective was to identify avenues for the development, improvement and deployment of programs, seeking to transfer successful models to post-secondary institutions.

For the next phase, through the second virtual exchange program, students from UBC and Global South will share their contexts with each other and learn about lived experiences and contemporary issues in their respective communities. On an international follow-up study tour, UBC students will travel to Argentina or Brazil to learn directly with the indigenous communities they have encountered online and collaborate on community projects. The project is unique in that it also connects Indigenous youth in British Columbia with UBC students to foster mentorship, which sparks greater interest in post-secondary education, as well as study and international work.

Building on the success of the initial pilot project, UBC is partnering with Universidad Austral in Argentina and the Teia das 5 Curas network in Brazil. Both support knowledge sharing and building long-term relationships between indigenous UBC students and indigenous communities in Argentina and Brazil for collaborations on education, health and food security.

Each year, Global Indigenous Connections will partner with an Indigenous community in Canada to support Indigenous youth alongside UBC students and international partners, with contributions from UBC’s Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies.

Faculty of Forestry, Forests and Livelihoods International

The expansion is on the program of the Faculty of Forestry. It will fully fund 42 students – indigenous, low-income and disabled – for adventurous field courses abroad, co-ops, internships and study abroad internships, and pay half of the expenses of 36 others. Students will explore how the complex interactions of global forest management, conservation and land use shape people’s livelihoods.

The main goal of Forests and Livelihoods International, said Dr Suzie Lavallee, Teaching Professor and Academic Director at Vantage College UBC, is “to give students incredible opportunities. In addition, we want to break down the barriers of historical exclusion for experiential learning by developing best practices to support these students.

Forestry will build on partner organizations and advisory groups for the local context and tailor supports to students. The faculty maintains close links in Germany, Austria, Italy and Finland through the double master program, launched in 2011.

“Our European partners want to develop this collaboration through undergraduate exchanges,” said Jorma Neuvonen, vice-dean for vocational training and international collaboration at the Faculty of Forestry. “We are also developing academic exchanges and research initiatives through our new relationships with institutions in Chile and Ecuador, with the aim of creating long-term collaborative programs at graduate and undergraduate levels. “

Learn more about Go Global programs.

Learn more about the Faculty of Forestry at UBC.

These projects are funded by Global Skills Opportunity, the Government of Canada’s pilot outgoing student mobility program.

Universities Canada logo

(image: Universities Canada)

Global skills universities logo

(image: Global skills opportunity)

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