UBC has launched a new Office of Indigenous Strategic Initiatives (OISI) to coordinate the implementation of UBC’s 2020 Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP) on both UBC campuses.
The office, which officially opened in February 2021, is led by the Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs, Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot. Operational and ISP strategic initiative support is provided by Associate Director Vicki George, Indigenous Strategic Planning Manager Alex Ash, and Administrative Coordinator Jessie Penner.
The OISI team will support faculties, departments, operational units and student groups across UBC’s Vancouver and Okanagan campuses as they implement the eight Goals and 43 Actions called for in the ISP. The Office also provides advice to university leadership on how best to improve the experiences of Indigenous students, faculty, and staff across the university.
“UBC’s Indigenous Strategic Plan is innovative in that it takes an Indigenous-led, Indigenous human rights-based approach to transforming the overall culture of the university,” explains Dr. Lightfoot, adding, “For the Plan to succeed, we’ll need participation and accountability at all levels. That’s why we’ve created a guiding network that includes everyone from students, staff and faculty to leadership and takes advice from a number of Indigenous-led advisory committees.”