President's Update: June 21, 2021
June 16, 2021 - New KPU: learning and working in Fall 2021
June 11, 2021 - YWCA Women of Distinction Awards
June 1, 2021 - Reflecting on the Kamloops tragedy with the Indigenous Advisory Committee
May 19, 2021 - Celebrating our alumni
April 27, 2021 - An update on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion projects across KPU
April 16, 2021 - Team Service and Distinguished Leadership Awards
April 1, 2021 - Update from the Board of Governors meeting of March 31
March 24, 2021 - Staying connected with our alumni
March 18, 2021 - A sneak peek at the results of our Employee Insights survey
March 9, 2021 - Update: Planning for the Fall semester
February 26, 2021 - Financial update
February 11, 2021 - Celebrating Black History Month
February 5, 2021 - A virtual celebration of our 40th anniversary
January 27, 2021 - The importance of territorial acknowledgements
I was fortunate to attend the KPU Indigenous Advisory Committee a few days ago. This is where members of the First Nations communities with whom we work join with our faculty, staff and administrators as well as others such as school district representatives to engage in aspects of Reconciliation.
This is important work and we are grateful for all the time and dedication so many are willing to spend as we do our best as a university for Indigenous students, employees and communities.
We always start with introductions and it is wonderful to hear the heartfelt recognition of traditional and ancestral lands from across the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and as far away as Alberta. This aspect of remote work and study enriches our understanding of Indigenous peoples and their lands.
Our Elder in Residence, Lekeyten, spoke passionately at the IAC, expressing his sorrow and pain that the City of Surrey had recently voted not to approve the following motion:
That the City of Surrey develop a meaningful, respectful acknowledgment before every council and committee meeting of our commitment as a city to reconciliation and recognition that the land we are on is the traditional territory of the Coast Salish people.
Last week, I decided, on behalf of the KPU community to write to the Mayor and Council on this matter to express our disappointment, and I added the following:
Sometimes we stumble or forget, but the expectation of our country, our province and our community is that we strive to do better in this respect.
Education is fundamental to reconciliation and I am sharing my request with Drs. Tinney and Johnston who work alongside us to raise awareness and understanding among our students
I respectfully ask Council to demonstrate its leadership by reconsidering its decision.
We distributed this letter widely through social media, but you may have missed it.
We are not perfect in this matter. We struggle to get the acknowledgment right, since our region has a complex array of overlapping traditional and ancestral territories, and we are working on a clearer approach, as well as necessary policies and processes. We always do our best, and when that is not enough, we tirelessly strive to do better.
In that spirit, I am recording this video on the traditional lands of the Kwantlen and Semiahmoo First Nations, where I am lucky to live, and I am grateful to all the Coast Salish peoples for sharing their land in friendship and in peace.
In the meantime, be kind, be calm, be safe.