Why isn't anyone talking about the Musqueam?
My colleague Amanda Stutt gets to the heart of a disturbing matter in today’s Ubyssey – the Alma Mater Society…
My colleague Amanda Stutt gets to the heart of a disturbing matter in today’s Ubyssey – the Alma Mater Society (AMS) does not recognize the Musqueam title to the land that UBC rests upon.
It befuddles me why this hasn’t hit the debates more loudly. It’s something that should have been a big issue in the AMS elections from day one, but I’ve heard very little talk about it at all – including those who claim to be concerned about it. VP Academic hopeful Nate Crompton relegates the issue to the “Other” category in his platform.
I was at the meeting when a motion called on AMS council to recognize the Musqueam claim to UBC territory and to support ongoing negotiations taking place between the band and other groups over the title to the UBC Golf Course. No baggage attached, no action required of councillors apart from raising their hands to say “we agree.”
But council rejected it, and now they’re hearing from me.
Every member of the AMS executive supported the motion except for Matthew Naylor, now your candidate for the society’s presidency. He told me after the meeting that it’s the role of council to take stances on issues that specifically affect students and that that was one of the reasons he didn’t support it.
To be fair, he wasn’t the only one who said no. But there’s something to be said when you’re a student leader who can’t set an example and support a simple motion that says, “This is Musqueam territory, and we’re living on it.” Apparently that’s too hard for some people to digest.
The elections come down to the wire this week, with results announced Thursday night at the Gallery. I’ll think it a travesty if this doesn’t become an issue before then.
While I generally support the notion that the student society should be focused on issues that affect students by virtue of being students, this is not one of those times. The effect of land claims in general does not affect UBC but it is farcical to imagine that the effect of Musqueam land claims does not. Take a stand!
Here are the minutes from the council meeting where the Musqueam motion was defeated.
I was involved heavily in the issue throughout the summer and wrote several articles, which I can post on my website if that helps.
One of the articles is “Musqueam history of UBC” and was published in the People’s Guide.
All the best!