First Nations House of Learning

The First Nations House of Learning (FNHL) is based in the First Nations Longhouse. Its mandate is to make the University’s vast resources more accessible to Indigenous people and to improve its ability to meet their needs. It does this by organizing and maintaining Longhouse student services and spaces; overseeing public and academic programming at the Longhouse; leading and supporting strategic planning and communications on UBC Indigenous engagement initiatives; and, by providing a point of contact for Indigenous communities. It also engages with the public, media, and UBC personnel on a host of Indigenous-related matters.

Notable Past and Present Initiatives

  • Coordinate the development of the UBC Indigenous Strategic Plan
  • Hosting weekly lunches for Indigenous students
  • Hosting biannual Indigenous Graduation Celebrations
  • Partnering with UBC Collegia on the development of šxʷta:təχʷəm Collegium
  • Coordinated the development of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre
  • Advised on the development of CTLT Indigenous Initiatives, the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health, and the Indigenous Research Support Initiative
  • Advised on the installation of the Musqueam Post, Reconciliation Pole, and Looplex X Canoe
  • Partnered with UBC Brand on the Indigenous Peoples: Language Guideline

Student Services

FNHL offers the following student services, in collaboration with other UBC units:

  • Biannual Indigenous graduation celebration event
  • Wellness events
  • Student meals
  • Tutoring sessions (based on demand)
  • Resource referrals
  • Accredited counsellors
  • Student health nurse (weekly)
  • Student financial advisor (weekly)

For more information on FNHL student services, contact:

FNHL Reception

Public Information

In addition to administering the UBC Indigenous Portal, FNHL also manages the following channels:


Throughout the year, FNHL partners with various UBC departments, faculty, staff, and units to offer all kinds of events to Indigenous students, staff and faculty, the broader university community, and sometimes the general public. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Major Conferences
  • Public Lectures
  • Cultural Events
  • Book Releases
  • Graduation Events
  • Community meals

Events are generally held in the Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall.

Meet Former FNHL Directors

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.

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Verna Kirkness, 1984-1993

Watch the longer video (23:54)

Jo-ann Archibald, 1993-2001

Watch the longer video (11:48)

Richard Vedan, 2001-2009

Watch the longer video (10:36)

Linc Kesler, 2009-2018

Watch the longer video (22:30)

Margaret Moss, 2018-2023

Watch the video on this page