Statement from UBC First Nations House of Learning Leadership

Joely Viveiros

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.


Joely Viveiros
Acting Director and Associate Director, First Nations House of Learning, UBC Vancouver

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UBC Vancouver Student Supports

UBC Faculty and Staff Supports

Off-Campus Supports