The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is a grassroots provincial organization that represents First Nations Bands in British Columbia. The organization was founded in 1969 by a majority of chiefs in B.C. who united to oppose the assimilation intentions of the federal government’s Statement of the Government of Canada on Indian Policy (1969), commonly known as the White Paper. On behalf of its member bands, the UBCIC has since worked to improve the economic, educational and social conditions of B.C.’s Aboriginal people and has worked to exercise and protect their title and rights through research, policy development, communications, advocacy, education, demonstrations and other events. As an Indigenous rights advocate for the Aboriginal people of B.C., the Union has been involved in the important issues affecting Aboriginal people for over four decades since its founding.
Geographical and cultural context
As a provincial organization, the operations of the UBCIC are chiefly carried on in British Columbia. At times, however, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs is also involved in nationally significant events such as the Constitution Express, which influenced the history of the Canadian Constitution. The UBCIC’s work with the United Nations, which has granted the UBCIC Special Consultative Status with its Economic and Social Council, is also internationally significant.
Mandates/Sources of authority
The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Constitution and Bylaws serve as the original source of the organization’s authority and mandate. The UBCIC Constitution and Bylaws, which were formerly referred to as the Societies Act of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, have been amended multiple times over the course the organization’s history.
The UBCIC takes its direction from its member communities through the elected leadership who form the Chiefs Council and the UBCIC Assembly. This direction, which takes the form of resolutions, guides the work of the Executive Committee, the Executive Director and UBCIC staff. The everyday work of the organization is carried out by four main departments: The Research Department, the Policy Department, the Resource Centre and the Finance Department.
Records management and collecting policies
The primary archival holdings are the records of the UBCIC, its community members (First Nations in BC which belong to the UBCIC) and affiliated organizations such as the Native Indian Brotherhood.
Major Subjects for acquisition for the archival holdings and library collection are: Aboriginal title and rights; BC history and First Nations culture; government policy on Indigenous peoples; human rights; Indigenous peoples; governance; Aboriginal women and youth; and environmental studies.
The primary geographic scope is British Columbia, but also national and international relating to Aboriginal title and rights or Indigenous human rights.
The archival records of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs consist of textual records, graphic materials including photographs and posters, moving images, sound recordings, cartographic materials and records on microfilm and in electronic form that have been created and received by the UBCIC since its inception in 1969.
The UBCIC Resource Centre, which is both an archives and a library, maintains and is responsible for significant historical records of enduring value that provide important documentation of many of the social and political concerns and activities of Aboriginal communities in B.C. as well as the history of the organization. These unique records form the holdings of the Archives, which include a wide variety of analogue and digital formats. The Archives contains thousands of unique and significant historical records that are an irreplaceable part of Aboriginal documentary heritage and a significant aspect of history, particularly relating to human rights, Aboriginal rights and title, and social justice. The archival holdings of the UBCIC carry the recordings of the collective voices of many Aboriginal individuals and communities in British Columbia.
Finding aids, guides and publications