The Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance flag now flies above the central courtyard at UBC Okanagan.
The flag, a permanent addition to the campus, was raised by students, Brianna Wilson, of the Westbank First Nation and Cody Isaac, of the Okanagan Indian Band, who hope it will set an example for other colleges and universities to do the same.
“It was really powerful to be raising the flag on campus here in front of our peers,” said Wilson.
Raising the flag had Isaac holding back tears.
“This is a big part of history, not just within UBC but as part of Indigenous history. I feel so honoured to be part of it,” he said.
The raising of the flag was opened with a prayer, Welcome song and the Okanagan song that needed no microphone as Amber Kruger Càrdenas’ voice carried through the depths of campus and filled the ears of students that gathered for the event.
“It (raising of the flag) means so many different things, it’s a moment of incredible pride to know that our students will be able to walk proudly with their heads held high, and to genuinely know that they are part of this community. We are all one race and that is the human race, we are in this life together,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.
The university is located in the ancestral territory of the SyilxOkanagan Nation.
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