Dear members of the UBC community.
As you know, a little over a year ago, on December 5, 2019, UBC declared a climate emergency.
As part of the declaration, I established a Climate Emergency Task Force with a mandate to consolidate input from both in-person and online consultations into a public report.
I am pleased to say, the Task Force has now submitted its report and recommendations.
I would like to thank the members of the Task Force for their hard work and dedication over the past several months. I respect the recommendations that have been made and the careful work that has gone into them. All the recommendations will be taken into account as we plan the path forward.
I will discuss the report in detail in my update next week.
This week I am proud to announce the opening of the new Office of Indigenous Strategic Initiatives, which will coordinate the implementation of UBC’s 2020 Indigenous Strategic Plan.
It is part of an innovative, Indigenous-led and Indigenous human rights-based governance structure that is being set up to support the Plan’s implementation across both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.
As BC’s largest public university, we have committed, through the ISP, to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on our campuses, and this new office strengthens our ability to advance that commitment.
Together, we are all accountable for moving reconciliation forward. The Office, which reports to the Senior Advisor to the President on Indigenous Affairs, Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot, is here to help us on that journey.
It will provide guidance to faculties, departments, operational units and student groups across UBC in their alignment with the Indigenous Strategic Plan. It will also provide advice to university leadership on how best to improve the experiences of Indigenous students, faculty and staff across the university.
You can find out more about the ISP at indigenous.ubc.ca. If you would like to get involved in implementation of the Plan, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We continue our commitment to the implementation of Indigenous human rights, and I am confident that this new office will help us advance meaningful reconciliation here at UBC.
And now my weekly shoutout to a UBC unsung hero. This week I’m proud to present Dr. Jennifer Katz of the Faculty of Education. She has been instrumental in raising awareness about food security issues faced by international students due to COVID.
But she has done much more than just raise awareness. In March, when she became aware that students did not have enough to eat, she immediately went to the grocery store, bought food, and delivered it to the student residences. Dr. Katz, along with a growing team of volunteers, continues to deliver food every week to on-campus students in need.
Dr. Katz is a hero who has provided the basic necessities of life for some of our most vulnerable students. Thank you, Dr. Katz.
Finally, for my #songsofcomfort selection this week, I’m pleased to share a personal adaptation of “La Califfa” by Ennio Morricone. I hope you enjoy it.
Best wishes and stay safe.