Indigeneity, Equity and Diversity

About this page

This page is a resource for people to learn about Indigenous history, current events, and ways of knowing that can be integrated into teaching and research, in support of UBC's Indigenous Strategic Plan.
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This website is hosted by the Indigeneity, Equity and Diversity Committee in the Department of Sociology at UBC. Our mission is to help guide the implementation of UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan within the department. This includes, but is not limited to, advocating for truth about the history and current practices of colonization in Canada, incorporating this into and Indigenizing our curriculum and research, providing tools for success, making our department a safe space for these conversations and for Indigenous faculty, staff, and students, and advocating on behalf of diversity and equity in our department.

Resources for Teaching, Research, and Outreach

Acknowledging the history of the land you are living, learning, and meeting upon is an important step in acknowledging the truth of colonization. Making a land acknowledgement before proceeding with a meeting has become more common. In an effort to get it “right,” institutions often encourage particular wording for a land acknowledgement. At UBC’s Vancouver campus, an example is:

UBC’s Point Grey Campus is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. The land it is situated on has long been a place of learning for the Musqueam people, who for millennia have passed on in their culture, history, and traditions from one generation to the next on this site.

However, land acknowledgements can sometimes do more harm than good. When a land acknowledgement ignores the trauma to Indigenous people caused by colonization, or presents Indigenous people and their land rights as something of the past, it can do harm. To the extent a land acknowledgement feels impersonal, rehearsed, or performative, it can also turn the opportunity to acknowledge truth into a cynical exercise. For these and other reasons, some Indigenous scholars have requested a pause in land acknowledgments so that improvements can be made to them, including acknowledging the history of one's academic field in relation to Indigenous people.

We encourage everyone to learn about the history of the land they live and work within, about their own history in relation to that land, and to craft a personal land acknowledgement. On this website there are resources for learning more about the history of the land you are on. For starters you can go to native-land.ca to learn about Indigenous territories, language, and treaties around the world. You can take this self-paced course offered by UBC to understand why land acknowledgements are an important part of UBC, to identify your positionality and responsibility when offering land acknowledgements and engaging with Indigenous communities, and to learn more about other resources and educational tools needed to deliver land acknowledgements.

Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education, University of British Columbia, MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

Respect, Sincerity & Responsibility: Land Acknowledgements @ UBC, University of British Columbia, self-paced online course

Indigenous Canada, University of Alberta, MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)

CBPR Summer Institute: Community Based Participatory Research Institute for health:  Indigenous and Critical Methodologies

rETHICS: Research Ethics Training for Health in Indigenous Communities

Reports

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: TRC Reports (2015-present)

Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019)

The UBC President's Task Force on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Final Report (2022)

Academic Readings

Vowel, C. (2017). Indigenous Writes : A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues in Canada, Portage & Main Press, Chapter 14, 15, and 16.

Huyser, Kimberly R. (2020). Data & Native American Identity. Contexts, 19(3): 10-15.

Steinman, Erich W. Settler colonialism and sociological knowledge: insights and directions forward. Theory and Society (2021): 1-32.

Kovach, M. (2021). Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristics, Conversations, and Contexts, Second Edition. University of Toronto Press.

Arthur J. Ray. (2016). Illustrated History of Canada’s Native People, Fourth Edition.

Forte, M. C. (Ed.). (2013). Who is an Indian?: Race, Place, and the Politics of Indigeneity in the Americas. University of Toronto Press.

McKay, Dwanna L., Kirsten Vinyeta, and Kari Marie Norgaard (2020). Theorizing race and settler colonialism within US sociology. Sociology Compass 14.9: e12821.

Arvin, Maile, Eve Tuck, and Angie Morrill (2013). Decolonizing Feminism: Challenging Connections between Settler Colonialism and Heteropatriarchy. Feminist Formations, Vol. 25 No. 1 (Spring) pp. 8–34.

Tuck, Eve and K. Wayne Yang (2012). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society Vol. 1, No. 1, 2012, pp. 1-40.

The department has a budget for Indigenous Guest Speakers, who should receive honorariums for their time. You can write to ied.sociology@ubc.ca to request funding.

Write a letter to a friend or family member about what you’ve learned about Indigenous people this term

About the Indigeneity, Equity and Diversity Committee

Mission

Our mission is to help guide the implementation of UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan within the Department of Sociology. This includes, but is not limited to, advocating for truth about the history and current practices of colonization in Canada; incorporating this knowledge into, and Indigenizing, our curriculum and research; providing tools for success; making the department a safe space for these conversations and for Indigenous faculty, staff, and students; and advocating on behalf of diversity and equity in our department.

Members

2021-2022 Jennifer L. Berdahl (Chair), Kimberly R. Huyser, C. Elizabeth Hirsh

2020-2021 Jennifer L. Berdahl (Chair), Kimberly R. Huyser, Sinikka Elliott

Questions or Suggestions?