On behalf of the University, I wish to address recent concerns regarding Buffy Sainte-Marie and her claimed Indigenous identity. We recognize and acknowledge the deep sadness, hurt, anger, and array of emotions that Indigenous people may be experiencing in the wake of these allegations.
To the Indigenous students, faculty, staff and community members at UBC: we stand and walk alongside you.
Sainte-Marie was granted an honorary degree from UBC in 2012. Members of our community have asked if the University will rescind her honorary degree due to recent events.
We believe the priority is to provide time for Indigenous communities to process and come to terms with the news. Meanwhile, the University will work collaboratively and closely with our Indigenous leadership, faculty, partners, communities and local First Nations to determine next steps relating to this honorary degree.
While this process gets underway, our priority first and foremost is the wellbeing of the Indigenous community at UBC.
To that end, we encourage Indigenous students impacted by this news to utilize the UBC support services, including off-campus Indigenous and community organizations. For UBC employees, we encourage you to reach out to your support networks, including support services provided as part of your employee benefits, or to off-campus ones. Please see the list below for corresponding links.
Acting Director and Associate Director, First Nations House of Learning, UBC Vancouver
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UBC Vancouver Student Supports
- The Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing program aims to provide culturally safe mental health and support services, including offering individual sessions at the Longhouse. More information can be found here: https://students.ubc.ca/health/counselling-services/indigenous-mental-health-wellbeing-program
- The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre hosts wellness drop-ins every second Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Elders’ lounge on the upper level of the Centre. Indigenous students, staff, faculty and community members are invited to drop-in to the Centre for tea or coffee and conversation with a Cultural Support Worker. More information can be found here: https://irshdc.ubc.ca/wellness-drop-ins/
- Information on general health and wellbeing support services available at UBC Vancouver can be found here:
UBC Faculty and Staff Supports
- Faculty and Staff Mental Health Resources:
- Helping Faculty and Staff in Distress:
- Employee and Family Assistance Program:
- Outside of UBC, Indigenous people in B.C. can access culturally safe mental health and wellbeing resources from Canada-wide programs like Hope for Wellness, or through programs from the First Nations Health Authority, and Métis Nation BC.
- There are also crisis and support lines, including the KUU-US Indigenous Crisis Line and the Indian Residential School Crisis Line, which can be reached at 1-866-925-4419.
- The Sixties Scoop Network and Sixties Scoop Healing Foundation also offer support and resources for survivors of the Sixties Scoop and their families.