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Indigenization

Douglas College acknowledges that our campuses, where we live, learn, work and play, are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Peoples of the QayQayt and Kwikwetlem First Nations.

Douglas College is committed to the engagement process with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to develop a comprehensive post-secondary strategy that responds to the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls to Action and to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in relation to post-secondary education and training.

For many years, Aboriginal Student Services at Douglas College has done a great job of supporting Indigenous students and working with the College to raise awareness of Indigenous cultures, ways of knowing and histories. The Aboriginal Stream in the Faculty of Child, Family and Community Studies has a long, successful history in preparing students to work in social service roles in support of Indigenous populations and communities. The College has also benefitted enormously from the contributions of its Aboriginal Advisory Committee, which provides advice and direction on Indigenous programs, services and activities, and helps the College build and maintain relationships with local Indigenous communities.

Over the last several years, the College has launched a number of additional initiatives consistent with the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework and Action Plan. These initiatives are aimed at enhancing cultural awareness and sensitivity toward Indigenous peoples, their histories, cultures and ways of knowing.

Recent initiatives have included the following:

  • Working with Elders to build and plant an Indigenous garden at the New Westminster Campus
  • Establishing an Aboriginal speaker series
  • Hosting a community forum on Truth and Reconciliation: Cities and Citizens
  • Creating an enhanced Indigenous student space at the Coquitlam Campus
  • Developing an Indigenous studies option for first-year students
  • Developing a program for College Board members to enhance their cultural knowledge of local Indigenous communities and to increase their awareness of the TRC’s Calls to Action and UNDRIP
  • Implementing a project to increase awareness of support for mental health and wellness in Indigenous communities
  • Developing a standard operating procedure for smudging on campus

In addition to such formal initiatives, various groups across the College have been actively engaged in discussions of the work of the TRC and the Calls to Action.

NEW Indigenization strategy: under development

As of February 2019, Douglas College President, Dr. Kathy Denton, has formed a steering committee to oversee the development of an over-arching, long-term Indigenization strategy. This strategy will build upon the good work already underway across our campuses, and will help inform the College’s 2020–2025 Strategic Plan, also now in the early stages of development.

Gathering Place welcome