The University of Northern BC will play a big role in the 2019 National Building Reconciliation Forum.

At the closing ceremony of this year’s edition, five post-secondary institutions were announced to jointly host next year’s forum. The others include Algoma University, Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (an Anishinaabe institution), Cape Breton University, and Nipissing University.

Algoma will host the event and although Prince George will not be hosting, Dr. Dan Weeks, President, Vice-Chancellor at UNBC, said the Sault Ste. Marie school is a perfect location.

“The original building of the university was formally a residential school and the entire campus is built around that building, which has been rededicated as a place to honour the survivors of residential schools.”

The forum will focus on the strengths smaller institutions bring to the national conversation of reconciliation through higher education.

Dr. Weeks explains what UNBC’s main focus will be.

“We certainly will be interested in contributing to conversations around the development of language programming, First Nations languages in British Columbia, I think our conversations around our distributed campus and the work that we do in some of the other communities in northern British Columbia will be of interest.”

The National Building Reconciliation Forum, inspired by the 2015 Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, brings leaders from universities and Indigenous communities from across the country to create change in the higher education aimed at advancing reconciliation.