History & Context



timeline of progress

This work began in 2014, when a group of Indigenous scholars at UBC, together with Dr. Linc Kesler (then Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs) and Dr. Helen Burt (Associate VP Research & Innovation) led the movement to create a dedicated office for Indigenous research support.

IRSI was established in late 2016 and hosted its initial community gathering in June 2017. A second gathering based on “Principles of Engagement” for Indigenous research was held in October 2018.

Together with partners (the BC First Nations Data Governance Initiative and the Residential School History and Dialogue Centre) IRSI hosted a series of community Dialogues on Indigenous Data, Information and Records in the winter / spring of 2019.

In November 2019, a collaborative workshop was held at Musqueam, culminating several years of work and five previous gatherings.

Other other key events underpinning IRSI's progress are:

SEPT 2007 - United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) adopted by the United Nations (Canada initially refuses to sign)

JAN 2009 - UBC releases its initial Aboriginal Strategic Plan

NOV 2010 - Canada officially announces its support of UNDRIP

DEC 2015 - Canada releases the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report

APR 2018 - UBC President Santa Ono delivers Statement of Apology at the opening of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre

JUN 2018 - UBC releases the draft 2018 Indigenous Strategic Plan, developed as part of the UBC’s Next Century strategic plan

SEP 2020 - UBC implements the Indigenous Strategic Plan becoming the first university in North America to commit to implementing UNDRIP

DEC 2021 - UBC releases the Indigenous Finance Guidelines