Reconciliation pole to be installed on campus on Saturday

On Saturday, April 1, UBC will be holding an installation ceremony of the reconciliation pole, a 55-foot tall Haida totem pole. The reconciliation pole is part of UBC’s ongoing initiative to educate and inform people about the history of Canada’s Indigenous residential schools.

The pole will be located on Agronomy Road and Main Mall, in front of the forestry building. The ceremony will involve 600–800 people who will pull the ropes in order to raise it.

The Calendar is working with UBC to increase student engagement in the event.

“Our goal throughout this period is to engage students in the conversation around reconciliation — the residential schools and what reconciliation means to them,” said Alexandra Mann, External Director of The Calendar.

The Calendar’s promotion include social media and a short documentary they shot about the creation of the pole, as well as through word of mouth.

“At UBC, anyone who is taking part in living on this land or being educated here, we really believe it’s the social responsibility of people who are benefitting from this land to engage in that conversation and to understand its history and the implications of that, but also how we can move forward from that,” said Mann.

UBC, in addition to the reconciliation pole, is also building an Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre in the space between Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and Koerner Library. The project is slated for completion in July.