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VIU’s Board of Governors has made a decisive move to approve a new tuition approach that expresses full respect and recognition of Indigenous citizenship and territories regardless of borders.
The new approach will allow any Indigenous peoples whose ancestral lands are within Canada to be considered domestic students rather than international students (with the corresponding difference in tuition fees).
The Board’s decision demonstrates VIU’s continuing commitment to fulfill the recommendations of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
It also supports the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Jay Treaty of 1795. This treaty secured the rights of Indigenous peoples to continue to move freely cross the US-Canada border, by land or water, in order to carry on trade or commerce with each other as they had done before the border was established.
“Education is a key determinant of social change and sustainable prosperity,” said Dr. Ralph Nilson, President and Vice-Chancellor of VIU.
“This change continues the work VIU is engaged in to further the process of reconciliation and create pathways for Indigenous peoples to access post-secondary educational opportunities.
VIU strongly believes that all sectors and all institutions in our region and across the country must examine our policies and consider tangible and specific actions such as this to invest in and actively support reconciliation with Indigenous nations.”
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