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Support the recovery and revitalization of Indigenous languages and cultures in British Columbia

Help us transform the culture of our campus, to empower Indigenous peoples, and promote engagement, reconciliation, and systemic change.

British Columbia is the ancestral home of more than half of Canada’s Indigenous languages and all of them are critically endangered. The last generation of fluent speakers could be lost within the next decade. The situation has reached such catastrophic proportions that, in many contexts, efforts have moved from language revitalization to language recovery and even reclamation. We are not just losing words but immeasurably rich and diverse worlds.

UBC Okanagan is establishing the Interior Salishan Studies Centre to help restore and protect BC’s extraordinarily rich linguistic heritage. A Canadian leader in developing unique programs and services, UBCO works with Indigenous communities to remove barriers for Indigenous students and facilitate access to the university.

“To study in your language and your knowledge systems, which many English speakers take for granted, is not there for Indigenous peoples. UBC Okanagan is at the cutting edge in making that breakthrough—it’s a powerful statement of reconciliation. For all students of this institution, there is a great opportunity to make change happen so we can have a better future for all our people.” Jeannette Armstrong, Associate Professor, Indigenous Studies, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Studies

The centre will bring together students, scholars, artists, and community members to record, archive, study and revitalize languages of the interior of BC. It will explore and teach Salishan knowledge as a resource for strengthening and building relationships between Indigenous communities, and work towards much needed reconciliation. The centre will address the past in a forward looking way through language revitalization. UBCO is committed to address the legacy of colonialism and to co-develop knowledge, and relationships.

Your donation will catalyze the development of the Interior Salishan Studies Centre at UBC Okanagan as a new model for reconciliation. Gifts will be used to support learners, purpose-built space for language programs and research activities.


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