Indigenous students at UBC
UBC’s Vancouver campus is located on traditional, ancestral, unceded land of the Musqueam people, and its Okanagan campus is located on the territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation. For generations, these lands have been a place of teaching and learning for Indigenous peoples – a tradition that continues to this day.
UBC Indigenous recruiters
Our Indigenous Recruitment Advisors are available to help you plan your journey to UBC. Reach out to email@example.com or to one of our advisors directly:
Gitxsan and Nisga’a
Community Liaison Manager, Indigenous Students
Red River Métis
Recruiter Advisor, Indigenous Students
Anishinaabe, Garden River First Nation
Recruiter Advisor, Indigenous Students
Life at UBC
Building a community is an integral part of the university experience. There are plenty of activities and programs tailored to Indigenous students to help you connect and engage in fun and enriching experiences.
The University works to support Indigenous student academic and personal success through Indigenous-focused programs and services, including the Aboriginal Admission Policy, priority assignment placement in student housing, dedicated financial awards, and culturally relevant programs and services for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students.
Get to know UBC
Join us at a number of online and in-person events that will introduce you to UBC and its Indigenous community. Take part in fun workshops led by our Indigenous recruiters, get first-hand tips on how to create a strong application, and learn more about what it’s like to be an Indigenous student at UBC.
All About UBC for Indigenous Students
Learn about UBC’s two campuses, the academic programs they each offer, and what life on campus looks like. You’ll discover when and how to apply to UBC, get help on financial planning, and find out about the resources and services available to Indigenous students. This event is available online and in-person through school visits.
Indigenous UBC Application Workshop
Our Indigenous Recruiter Advisors will walk you through a demonstration of UBC’s online application, and provide tips on applying for UBC’s Indigenous-specific awards. Your parents or guardians are welcome.
Indigenous student campus tours
Visit our Vancouver and Okanagan campuses to get a feel for what it’s like to live and learn at UBC, and hear more about services and resources for Indigenous students. Request an in-person Indigenous campus tour of UBC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to register for an event
- Visit our tours and events page
- Click “create account” or log in using the buttons in the top right hand corner. When you create an account, make sure you self-identify as Indigenous.
- Based on your profile, we’ll show you a list of all the events available to you – just click the category you’d like to browse or search “Indigenous” to see events specifically for Indigenous students.
- To register, simply click the event card and follow the instructions to reserve your spot.
After you’ve created your account, you can find all of the events you’re registered for any time on the Your account page.
Programs and services for Indigenous students
UBC has culturally appropriate services and resources, as well as clubs and associations, for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students on both campuses.
Access academic advising, peer mentorship programs, network with other Indigenous students, or relax between classes in dedicated Indigenous spaces. The Indigenous Programs and Services on UBC’s Okanagan campus and the Indigenous Portal on UBC’s Vancouver campus are your resources for all of your academic and personal support needs.
Visit Indigenous Programs and Services
On-campus Indigenous-specific spaces
First Nations Longhouse
The Longhouse on UBC’s Vancouver campus is home to the First Nations House of Learning and is the go-to place for Indigenous students to access Indigenous programs and services, socialize, study, and host events.
Indigenous Student Collegium
The Indigenous Student Collegium is a space in the First Nations Longhouse that supports Indigenous students in building and fostering community – a home away from home. Take a break between classes to socialize, make a meal, and relax.
The Indigenous Centre on UBC’s Okanagan campus is your home away from home and your space to connect with your Indigenous peers. Make yourself comfortable here, and access Indigenous Programs and Services for academic and personal support.
The X̱wi7x̱wa Library is your centre for academic and community Indigenous scholarship on the Vancouver campus. Discover the library’s collections and services that reflect Indigenous approaches to teaching, learning, and research.
Centre for Indigenous Media Arts
The Centre for Indigenous Media Arts seeks to devise new expressions of Indigenous culture for the 21st century by working collaboratively with local artists and communities.
xʷc̓ic̓əsəm: Indigenous Health Research and Education Garden
Located at the UBC Farm, the xʷc̓ic̓əsəm Garden supports land-based teaching, research, and community engagement on food security and traditional plant knowledge.
Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre
This new centre provides former students and survivors, the University community, and the public access to residential school records and information in an interactive environment that supports engagement with the history and legacy of Indian residential schools.
Museum of Anthropology
Looking for inspiration? Visit the Museum of Anthropology on the Vancouver campus to experience world arts and cultures with a special emphasis on the First Nations peoples and other cultural communities of British Columbia, Canada. Take part in public programs and events such as the Coastal First Nations Dance Festival or the First Peoples Festival, and enjoy spectacular artwork from renowned Indigenous artists.
Visit the Museum of Anthropology
Explore our Indigenous-specific spaces
Take a closer look at the Indigenous-focused locations where you can study and relax, and learn about how the UBC community will welcome you.
Admissions for Indigenous students
UBC’s community includes Indigenous students from across Canada who have arrived here in a variety of ways. If you meet the general admission and degree-specific requirements, and the competitive average required for your degree of choice, you will be directly admissible to that degree on UBC’s Okanagan or Vancouver campuses. Most Indigenous students are admitted based on their competitive average. However, UBC offers a number of pathways to a post-secondary degree:
Aboriginal Admission Policy
If you have satisfied UBC’s general admission and degree-specific requirements, but have not met the competitive average for your degree of choice, UBC will consider your academic history, work experience, educational goals, and other achievements to find the best admission pathway for you.
Aboriginal Access Studies Program
This full-time entrance program combines university-level academic courses and non-academic activities to prepare Indigenous learners for degrees on UBC’s Okanagan campus. Students who complete the requirements are admitted to their intended degree program.
UBC-Langara Indigenous Transfer Partnership
This program supports the academic and personal preparation required for Indigenous students to successfully transition from Langara College to UBC’s Vancouver campus. Students who complete the requirements are considered for admission into 2nd or 3rd year studies in seven undergraduate disciplines on the Vancouver campus.
How to apply
Learning how to apply to UBC is about more than completing the online application. We’ll help you prepare by choosing the right high school courses, guide you while you find the degree that’s right for you, and give you tips to write a compelling Personal Profile.
Learn more about applying to UBC
When you apply, you can self-identify as First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit. It’s voluntary, but if you choose to self-identify, UBC can provide you with useful information on Indigenous programs, scholarships, housing, and services, and if you’re admitted you’ll be invited to attend Indigenous orientation.
You must pay an application fee to submit your application. However, if finances are a barrier to submitting your application, please reach out to email@example.com to discuss your options.
Indigenous students have priority access to housing on both UBC campuses, and all direct-entry first-year students are guaranteed housing. Student families on the Vancouver campus have access to child-friendly residences.
Housing on UBC’s Okanagan campus
Indigenous integrated learning communities
Housing on UBC’s Vancouver campus
Family housing on UBC’s Vancouver campus
After you apply
Find out what your next steps should be, depending on where you are in the application process:
If you’ve self-identified as an Indigenous person of Canada in your online application to UBC, your registration deposit will be automatically deferred. If you need to defer your housing deposit, please contact Natalie Tole at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finding community at UBC Vancouver
Métis + Enoch Cree | Quesnel, Canada | Bachelor of Media Studies
A student from Quesnel, BC, Jayden was intimated to join clubs and make friends when she first started at UBC. She found that taking the Media Studies stream within the Coordinated Arts Program made the transition to university even easier.
"The Media Studies community is a tight-knit group of friends, and I’m exposed to a lot of extremely creative people with an abundance of intriguing ideas and knowledge to share."Read more
Awards for Indigenous students
Presidential Scholars Awards
UBC has almost $100,000 in Presidential Scholars Awards for Indigenous secondary school students, including two renewable scholarships valued at $20,000 each, seven one-time awards valued at $5,000 each, and two renewable entrance scholarships for Bachelor of Arts students valued at $6,000 each.
UBC Centennial Scholars Entrance Awards
The UBC Centennial Scholars Entrance Award program assists students in transition from secondary school and other post-secondary institutions to UBC. This program supports academically qualified students who show an interest in joining the UBC community, but who would not otherwise be able to attend without significant financial assistance.
Program-specific Indigenous awards
UBC offers one-time and renewable awards to incoming and current Indigenous students in specific degrees on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campus.
Choosing the right place to study
Calgary (Siksika Nation and Skwah Nation) | BA in First Nations and Indigenous Studies
When Cecilia was deciding which university to pick, she chose to take part in the Indigenous Destination UBC program, designed to help First Nations, Métis, and Inuit high school attendees learn more about transitioning to university life. These events made a big difference in helping her determine whether UBC was the right place for her.
"I was excited that this university is so welcoming to Indigenous peoples, and that it has accepted me."Read more
Finding a home
Cree and Métis | Williams Lake, BC | First Nations and Indigenous Studies, minor in Law and Society
Before Verukah Poirier aged out of foster care at 19, she was worried about supporting herself after becoming a legal adult.
"The community at UBC made it easy for me build a great network of lifetime friends. I can honestly say that I have found the family I always wanted at UBC."Read more
Lots of students study and live at UBC with their families. The University offers a number of childcare facilities for infants and children up to five years of age, as well as occasional and out-of-school care.
As an Indigenous student, you have first access to any childcare spaces that become available for students. There’s no penalty for applying early, so you’re encouraged to submit a childcare application during pregnancy even if you do not yet have an offer of admission from UBC.
Childcare on UBC’s Okanagan campus
UBC Indigenous Student Handbook 2022
Browse UBC’s guide for Indigenous students and learn more about building a community on campus, finding resources, and planning your future.
- 2022 UBC Indigenous Handbook
- 3 MB PDF
- Download the handbook.