2012 Spring Grad Event at Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall

Dr. Linc Kesler, Chair, First Nations Studies Program, Director of the UBC First Nations House of Learning and Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs; Dr. David H. Farrar, Provost and Vice-President Academic; Chief Sophie Pierre, Chief Commissioner, BC Treaty Commission; Professor Stephen Toope, President and Vice-Chancellor, UBC (photo: Don Erhardt)

On Saturday 26 May, Professor Toope attended the annual UBC First Nations Longhouse Graduation Celebration in Sty-Wet-Tan, the Great Hall of the Longhouse. Hundreds of family members, friends, students, staff, and faculty were in attendance to honour the achievements of this year’s Aboriginal graduates. Over 100 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students graduated from a diverse range of UBC programs this year, and 25 of the graduates walked through the ceremonial door of Sty-Wet-Tan on Saturday to take part in the celebration. As they entered, they were drummed through by Victor Guerin of the Musqueam Nation, who later sang an honour song.

Speakers at the event included Elders Larry Grant and Rose Point, who welcomed the graduates and their guests to the ancestral, unceded territory of the Musqueam people; Wade Grant, Musqueam Councillor and UBC alum; keynote speaker Chief Sophie Pierre, who this year received an honorary degree from UBC; and graduate Peter Eppinga, one of a record 12 Aboriginal students graduating with an MD this year.