As Leanne Julian stood outside as part of a group of geography students listening to Mt. Lehman community members explain how they wanted to present their community it to the world, she could literally see her father’s home community, the Matsqui First Nation, not far in the distance.
But nobody else seemed to notice.
Leanne was taking part in a planning course taught by Cherie Enns, where students were working with the Mt. Lehman community on strategies to promote this rural corner of Abbotsford.
“In all the talk about their community vision they did not mention what their relation was to the surrounding First Nations communities, even though I knew they were situated in the traditional territory of the Matsqui people.”
Leanne gently challenged them on that, which led to her organizing a town hall dinner that brought together members of the Matsqui First Nation and the Mount Lehman community.
“The impact of that session was significant,” noted professor Enns. “Since then Leanne has been both an ambassador and a light in every setting where I have observed her. The light she shines might not always be comfortable, but by her presence, commitment to truth, and knowledge she is paying a key role in Indigenization at UFV and helping me to decolonize my curriculum.”
**To read more, go to the UFV Today’s website**
**Ad sources from by Anne Russell on June 4, 2019**