The First Nations Longhouse, a “home away from home” for Indigenous students, offers a variety of services and is a student community hub. [Click image to enlarge]

Opened in 1993, the First Nations Longhouse is an award-winning building constructed with Western red cedar logs and designed to reflect the architectural tradition of a Musqueam shed-style longhouse. The facility includes Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall, a dramatic 3,600 square foot multi-purpose space adorned with beautifully carved houseposts and beams, all of which provides a wonderful setting for any gathering.

Sty-Wet-Tan is a hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ or Musqueam term, meaning spirit of the west wind.

The Longhouse serves as a “home away from home” for Indigenous students, and is the academic, social, spiritual, and cultural hub for the Indigenous student community.
Student offerings include a study lounge with kitchenette, quiet study room, and various meeting rooms. Meanwhile, academic programming and student-orientated events take place in the Great Hall.

The Longhouse also hosts šxʷta:təχʷəm Collegium, a peer-run Indigenous student space where they can connect with an Elder, UBC professor, make lunch, hangout between classes, and enjoy student-led social activities.

The administrative offices of the First Nations House of Learning, which manages the facility and the student programming, is located in the Longhouse.

 Xwi7xwa Library is situated adjacent to the Longhouse.

Please Note: The First Nations Longhouse is not an art gallery, museum or interpretative centre; it is an Indigenous student services centre. Therefore, it is not open to the public.

Please take time to read The First Nations Longhouse: Our Home Away from Home. Originally published in 2001, Verna Kirkness and Jo-ann Archibald provide a firsthand account of the construction, opening and purpose of the University of British Columbia’s First Nations Longhouse, including the philanthropists behind its development. Digitization of the book was made possible by EBSCO community funding.

Best viewed in Fullscreen

Take a 3D tour of Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall

Best viewed in Fullscreen
Thanks: Indigenous Learning Pathways, a collaborative project between UBC Human Resources Talent Development & Engagement and CTLT Indigenous Initiatives. Credit: UBC Studios

Please take time to watch these short videos of five former FNHL Directors speaking on the subject of the Longhouse’s 30th Anniversary. Among other things, hear Dr. Verna Kirkness talk about the origins of the Longhouse; Dr. Jo-ann Archibald reading a speech Dr. Kirkness gave at the Longhouse’s opening in 1993; Dr. Richard Vedan talking about stories from “time immemorial” associated with houseposts in Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall; Dr. Linc Kesler talking about the Longhouse’s role in shaping Indigenous initiatives at the University; and, finally, Dr. Margaret Moss on the challenge of maintaining student programming at the Longhouse during COVID-19.

Related: Longhouse & Xwi7xwa Library 30th anniversary events and initiatives.

For general inquiries, contact:

FNHL Reception
T: 604-822-8940
E: fnhl.reception@ubc.ca

Find the Longhouse