The Department of English Language and Literatures at UBC Vancouver is on the unsurrendered traditional and ancestral territories of the Musqueam people; our departmental offices are located on a promontory called Point Gray in English, land claimed by the British as a Colonial Admiralty reserve in the mid-nineteenth century and occupied by the University of British Columbia since 1914.
These lands have their own Musqueam names and have been sites of learning for many generations before UBC stood here, and we recognize our obligations as teachers, researchers, scholars, and learners in ensuring that our classrooms and our work uphold the best of that longstanding learning context now and into the future.
We also recognize the myriad ways that English as a discipline has been informed, shaped, and challenged by both colonizing violence and decolonial commitment, and that these complexities continue to impact much of what we do in and beyond the classroom regardless of our areas of teaching and research focus. As a department, and as a community, we are working to do better, to think better, and to be a better place for faculty, staff, students, and community members to understand the profound power of language and literature to impact our lives and relationships in good as well as harmful ways.
We are committed not to simply acknowledge Musqueam territory, but to realize that acknowledgment in an active dedication to more just, more accountable relations.
We invite all members of our community to review the Musqueam-UBC Memorandum of Affiliation to understand more about this important relationship, and to consider how we can all help realize the commitments in that document and in UBC’s renewed Indigenous Strategic Plan.