A Conversation with Stephen Toope

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On June 16th, 2014, shortly before the end of his term as president of UBC, Stephen Toope met with First Nations House of Learning director Linc Kesler for a conversation about his years as president, and about the Aboriginal Strategic Plan and other initiatives he so strongly supported during his tenure. Above is the video record of that conversation.

Professor Toope became the 12th president of UBC in 2006. Shortly after he became president, he met with UBC Indigenous faculty and staff at the UBC Longhouse and strongly recommended the formation of an Aboriginal Strategic Plan (ASP) that could place Aboriginal initiatives at the front of the development of a new UBC strategic plan. The aim, he explained, would be to include Aboriginal initiatives in all of the funding discussions and decisions that would accompany the university planning process. A succession of committees was formed, and in January 2009, the Aboriginal Strategic Plan became the first approved piece of what would become the larger Place and Promise university strategic plan.

Five years later, as Professor Toope competes his time at UBC, the 5-year report on the ASP plan is being finalized. A lot has been accomplished, in no small part because of Professor Toope’s support and unfailing dedication to keeping Aboriginal initiatives clearly in focus in so many of those discussions and processes.

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