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UBC President Appoints Aboriginal Affairs Senior Advisor

November 21, 2006

Source: University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia President Stephen J. Toope has appointed Prof. Richard Vedan as Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs.

Vedan, a member of the Neskonlith Band of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) First Nation, has been Director of the UBC First Nations House of Learning (FNHL) since 2001 and an associate professor in the School of Social Work and Family Studies since 1995.

"The broad network of community and academic contacts that inform Dr. Vedan in his work as Director of the FNHL will now also be available to me in formal and informal ways to ensure that Aboriginal matters continue to come forward to the highest levels of the university," said the President in a letter to the UBC community.

"This new position is an indication of the importance UBC places on its relations with First Nations students and their communities," says Toope, who announced the creation of the new position on the university’s executive team during his installation as the 12th President of UBC on Sep. 29, 2006.

Vedan received his BA from the University of Western Ontario, his Master of Social Work from UBC and his PhD from Simon Fraser University.

As Senior Advisor to the President, Vedan will serve as primary liaison for the President on Aboriginal matters for both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.

There are currently 500-600 Aboriginal undergraduate and graduate students at UBC. Increasing recruitment of Aboriginal students and faculty is part of Trek 2010, the university’s strategic plan.

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