The International Indigenous Paths project kicked off spring quarter with a whirlwind trip to the University of British Columbia (UBC).
11 students from the Native UW (NUW) Scholars program, together with Todd Clark (Program Manager, Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies) and Marion Ferguson (Exchange Programs Manager, Canadian Studies Center), traveled to UBC to familiarize themselves with campus, meet some of their peers, and get to know the Indigenous community and spaces there.
Our group was welcomed by the team at the First Nations House of Learning, and shared a meal with students in the šxʷta:təχʷəm Collegium – a community and physical space for self-identifying Indigenous students on campus. The NUW Scholars were also given time to peruse the X̱wi7x̱wa Library, the only Indigenous academic library branch in Canada.
On the second day of the trip, students given access to the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, and introduced to the engagement, decolonization and community healing work being done there. Following that visit, we received a private tour of the Museum of Anthropology.
The goal of the International Indigenous Paths project is to increase Indigenous student participation in study abroad by introducing students to international travel through a familiar, supportive structure. We will continue to build off of this first visit to UBC by nurturing the relationships we have built with community and colleagues in Canada, and working with the NUW Scholars to support them through the study abroad process.
The International Indigenous Paths project is funded by the IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students) Program, through the U.S Department of State with funding provided by the United States Government and supported in its implementation by World Learning. This trip was supported with additional funding from the UW Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies and the UW Office of Global Affairs.