FNSSA Elections & Call for New Members

Interested in getting involved on campus and being a part of an exciting student community?

The First Nation Studies Student’s Association will be holding general elections at the beginning of March 2014. We would like to invite any new or interested students to attend our general meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 4th at the UBC Global Lounge to get to know current FNSSA members and learn about new and upcoming events and opportunities. Membership for the 2014/2015 session of FNSSA is $5.00. Throughout the academic year, we meet on Tuesdays at 6:30 to discuss current events and opportunities on and off campus. FNSSA is very engaged with the First Nation Studies Program as well as with many other clubs and organizations within the UBC community.

Please LIKE our Facebook page for more information on current events or email us at fnssa.ubc@gmail.com

Click her for the link to the Facebook Event Page


Will Trade

This past Sunday, I attended the Elders Craft Fair at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre. My shopping list included smoked salmon, beaded earrings, and hopefully (fingers crossed!) some bannock. The gymnasium was full of tables with Kookum’s and Mushum’s selling their wares; deer hide roses, cedar weaved baskets and jewelry, stunning beaded creations, carvings and gorgeous Cowichan sweaters, bags and hats (take that Aritzia). My shopping list was successfully fulfilled by the end of the morning, however the most memorable part of my Elders Craft Fair experience was a small sign at a table that read “Will Trade”.

I immediately thought of the system of trade that had been unintentionally set up between a small community of Indigenous students on UBC campus. Last year, I was gifted a large amount of moose meat. Upon preparing it in a slow-cooker for eight hours, I gifted the majority of it to friends that I knew would appreciate its origins as a Moose that had been tracked by hunters who understood the importance of respectively hunting and harvesting an animal. The following weeks, I was gifted Elk sausage, more Moose meat, Deer, and Salmon. This system of trade has persisted and I am reminded of the resurgence of the Potlatch System, where our economies were supported by giving and not consuming. I could have easily consumed that Moose all to myself, but my sending it out into a community of loved ones, I was gifted a diverse and rich amount of meat and friendship. The Elders sign signified an intelligible and community oriented way of accumulating wealth: through building relations and giving for the purpose of trade. I cannot imagine a more powerful form of community oriented and anti-capitalist, grassroots resurgence.

Student Leadership Conference: Highlighted Projects Event

The Indigenous Studies Undergraduate Journal and Blog, xʷnaʔələmxʷ sχəχi:ls, has been selected to present as a Highlighted Project at this years 2014 Student Leadership Conference under the working title, Shifting Stories and Mending Misconceptions alongside PUNK (Promoting Understanding of North Korea). Blog-editors Matthew Ward and Anna McKenzie will be speaking about how this project has come to be through the hard work and leadership skills of FNSSA members, while incorporating their own personal story and development. More information about how to register for the conference on January 11th, 2014 will be posted as made available. FNSSA is excited to be bringing Indigenous voices and perspectives to a new venue, engaging over 1000 delegates composed of students, faculty, staff, and visiting community members! We hope to see you there in the New Year!

To keep updated with the latest, please check out the First Nations Studies Student Association’s new Facebook page!

New Beginnings A Success


The First Nation Studies Student Association would like to sincerely thank everyone for their support and enthusiasm surrounding our ‘New Beginnings’ Blog Launch. The event honoured the First Nations Studies Program and also introduced the xʷnaʔələmxʷ sχəχi:ls Journal and blog you’re currently reading (the Indigenous Studies Undergraduate Blog)! Thanks to the dedication of the FNSSA Execs, Journal and Blog teams, a night of celebration was shared with a full house at the Rhizome Café.  The evening began with notable speeches, followed by an exciting dialogue over what the community was interested in seeing in the journal and blog. The responses were overwhelming and our thanks go out to those in the community that shared their thoughts with us.

Our team put in a lot of love and dedication to create an event to showcase our blog that supports the voices of undergraduate students at UBC. This event was only the beginning however, and now that we are launched, we wish to encourage anyone who wants to share their work to submit to the blog or to the first addition of the Indigenous Studies Undergraduate Journal.

We would also like to extend our thanks to the many people that helped make this event possible. To Rhizome Café for their amazing hospitality and delicious food, to the First Nation Studies Program at UBC, to Alexandra (Allie) Downing for her photographs of the event, to all those that shared their work with us and for everyone that made an appearance despite the exasperating rain. We hold our hands up to you for  inspiring us in our pursuits and interests in Indigenous academia.