Indigenous Engagement Committee

Approved November 2020

PURPOSE

Universities across Canada educate more than a million students each year and Indigenous students continue to be under-represented in higher education. In addition, Indigenous perspectives and world views are not adequately reflected in the curricula of most academic disciplines.  UBC is working to correct these deficits, and since the establishment of the Aboriginal Strategic Plan in 2009, the University has worked to develop a more extensive and comprehensive approach.  This approach will now be extended under the 2018 Indigenous Strategic Plan, which is a central part of Shaping UBC’s Next Century, the encompassing UBC strategic plan.

The UBC Board of Governors has a crucial role in ensuring that the University pursues the goals set forward in the Indigenous Strategic Plan and in that adequate resources are directed towards its fulfilment.

Another aspect of the Board’s role is overseeing the University’s alignment with the Government of British Columbia’s adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).

The UBC Board of Governors established the Indigenous Engagement Committee with these purposes in mind.

The Committee’s mandate is to monitor the progress of all initiatives identified in the Indigenous Strategic Plan, including but not restricted to those identified in Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

OBJECTIVES

The Indigenous Engagement Committee has the primary responsibility of monitoring Indigenous strategies and initiatives at the University, to ensure that progress is being made, and to recommend any necessary direction of resources.

There will be four primary areas of focus:

  1. Ensuring compliance with any statutory responsibilities while at the same time promoting greater awareness and recognition of Indigenous peoples within Canada, with the goal to develop more functional and productive relationships between Indigenous peoples and the broader community;
  2. Identifying and securing funding to support Indigenous faculty, Indigenous learners and institutional initiatives, including support for curricular development, independent Indigenous-faculty-led research, collaborative research of value to Indigenous peoples and communities, and related projects that may lead to more functional and productive relationships;
  3. Developing a more detailed understanding of Indigenous strategies developed at the University, the programs and initiatives that currently exist and are being established, and the unmet needs of Indigenous faculty, Indigenous students and Indigenous communities that the University might address; and,
  4. Evaluating and providing annual progress reports on the Indigenous Strategic Plan and other indicators of University progress in its handling of Indigenous affairs, and holding the University and its administration accountable for progress made towards realizing its commitments in these areas.

MEMBERSHIP & PROCEDURES

Membership of the Committee shall consist of not more than eight (8) members in addition to the ex officio members:

  • The Chair of the Board of Governors, Chancellor and the President as ex officio voting members
  • One (1) member of the President’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee (Vancouver)
  • One (1) member of the Okanagan Aboriginal Advisory Council
  • Up to six (6) other persons five (5) of whom shall be members of the Board of Governors.

*The Chair of the Board of Governors appoints Committee members with the assistance of the President, based on qualifications and interest, and to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Appointments are made, and reviewed, at each instance of changes in Board membership.

The Committee Chair is selected from amongst the Governors on the Committee by the Board Chair, in consultation with the Board Vice-Chair and the Chair of the Governance Committee.

The Committee Chair is responsible for the better conduct of meetings, including agendas, information processes, and oversight of reporting and action items.

The Committee Vice-Chair is selected from amongst the Governors on the Committee by the Board Chair, in consultation with the Board Vice-Chair and the Chair of the Governance Committee.

The Committee Vice-Chair assumes the responsibilities of the Committee Chair in the absence of the Committee Chair, and may also be assigned additional tasks at the discretion of the Committee Chair.

The Committee will receive additional and reasonable support for the assembly, assessment and reporting of information.

The Committee may delegate, or be directed by the Board of Governors to oversee, work tasks and action items to subcommittees, the University Administration, or independent third-parties, subject to Board approval.

MEETINGS & QUORUM

The Indigenous Engagement Committee shall meet at the call of the Committee Chair as required.

Attendance by 35% of Indigenous Engagement Committee members (including the ex officio members) is required to establish quorum.

ACCOUNTABILITY

The Indigenous Engagement Committee is created by and is responsible to the Board of Governors of The University of British Columbia.

Minutes of Indigenous Engagement Committee meetings are approved at the next Committee meeting or by means of electronic approval and are distributed as soon as practicable.  Minutes of closed sessions are distributed only to Governors and others authorized to attend such closed sessions and are confidential unless resolved otherwise by the Committee Chair.

A record of all agenda items considered and any resolutions passed during in camera meetings of the Indigenous Engagement Committee are approved as soon as practicable by the Committee Chair, are distributed only to those individuals who are authorized to attend such in camera sessions, and are confidential.

The Chair of the Indigenous Engagement Committee reports on discussion and any action taken at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Governors.

In addition to the above, procedures and practices of the Indigenous Engagement Committee are governed Board Meetings Policy (GA8) and associated Committee Meeting Rules and Practices.

DELEGATED AUTHORITY

The Indigenous Engagement Committee will receive for information and approval reports related to system-wide UBC Indigenous/Aboriginal priorities and strategies.

The Board of Governors has delegated to the Indigenous Engagement Committee authority to transact the following business on its behalf:

Receive for information the following reports:

  • Aboriginal Strategy for Okanagan Campus
  • Current/Ongoing Indigenous/Aboriginal Initiatives and Programs
  • Indigenous Academic Presentations
  • Indigenous Faculty, Student and Staff Support Programs and Initiatives – Outcomes
  • Indigenous Programs at UBC – evaluating and monitoring progress re programs related to TRC Calls to Action
  • Indigenous Strategic Plan – Implementation Updates

The Indigenous Engagement Committee may choose to present individual items to the full Board of Governors for information or approval, including items for which authority to receive or approve has been delegated.