Archibald to stay at House of Learning helm

Jo-ann Archibald has been re-appointed as director of the First Nations House of Learning (FNHL) for a three-year term.

"Working together with faculties and other academic units to enrol 1,000 First Nations students by the year 2000 is one of our key goals," says Archibald who has been FNHL director since 1993.

The goal is one of the stated objectives in the university's draft vision document.

Developing access initiatives, such as the Aboriginal Admissions Policy, will help to encourage enrolment,says Archibald.

The policy allows UBC to consider applications by aboriginal students whose academic standing may not meet the criteria set by faculties and schools.

Work experience, community service and leadership are weighed with grade point average to increase opportunities for First Nations students.

Increasing financial assistance and developing programs and courses relevant to First Nations will also help attract aboriginal students to UBC, says Archibald.

The new Institute of Aboriginal Health, a partnership between the Office of the Co-ordinator of Health Sciences and the FNHL, as well as a proposed aboriginal fisheries chair are two such initiatives, she says.

Conducting and supporting research that is culturally sensitive and relevant to aboriginal communities both in B.C. and around the world will be another priority.

Archibald is working with the Faculty of Education's Ts'kel graduate degree program for persons of First Nations ancestry to explore the establishment of a First Nations Education Research Centre.

The project, funded from a faculty research grant, includes a visiting scholars' program.

In addition, Archibald will continue to ensure that the First Nations Longhouse is a home away from home for UBC aboriginal students.

"The primary aim of the FNHL is to make UBC and its resources more accessible to First Nations," she says.

Archibald's vision includes strengthening existing student services such as the child-care centre, library, computer lab, elder-in-residence program and counselling services.