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, 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.

The Story of the First Nations Longhouse, UBC, 1991-1993

In this 1994 film, the importance of the First Nations Longhouse at The University of British Columbia is conveyed by those who contributed to its construction and were there when it opened on May 25, 1993.

This video is closed captioned.

The First Nations Longhouse: Our Home Away from Home

In this digital publication, first printed 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

Former FNHL Directors speak on the Longhouse’s 30th anniversary

In these short videos, five former FNHL Directors speak on the subject of the Longhouse’s 30th Anniversary.

Among topics covered, Dr. Verna Kirkness tells the Longhouse’s origin story; Dr. Jo-ann Archibald reads a speech Dr. Kirkness gave at the Longhouse’s opening in 1993; Dr. Richard Vedan talks about the houseposts in Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall and their stories from “time immemorial”; Dr. Linc Kesler discusses the Longhouse’s role in shaping Indigenous engagement at UBC; and, Dr. Margaret Moss describes the challenge of maintaining student programming at the Longhouse during COVID-19.

These videos were produced as part of the Longhouse & Xwi7xwa Library’s 30th anniversary celebration.

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

For general inquiries, contact:

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

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