Supporting Surrey's urban Indigenous peoples

December 22, 2021

In a bid to promote the academic, research and community engagement needs and interests of Surrey’s Indigenous Peoples, SFU and the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee (SUILC) signed an agreement in early 2019.

The Collaborative Relationship Agreement supports SFU’s commitment to urban First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Surrey, and SUILC’s goal to advocate on behalf of Surrey’s urban Indigenous peoples.

In 2016, Surrey’s Indigenous population was approximately 14,000. Today, the current Indigenous population in Surrey exceeds that of Vancouver.

“This agreement marks a significant milestone in the ongoing SFU-SUILC relationship, and will help to shape and inform the paths we travel together in support of the region’s Indigenous communities,” says Steve Dooley, executive director of the Surrey campus.

Over the past three years, SUILC has engaged the Surrey campus in a variety of initiatives, including commemorating Orange Shirt Day in the city. SFU has also contributed funding for Skookum Lab, a SUILC social innovation project that addresses and combats root causes of Indigenous child and youth poverty in Surrey and develops community-based solutions.

As SFU campuses gradually return to more in-person teaching and campus- wide events this fall, SFU and SUILC plan to continue their work to support Indigenous communities in Surrey and support Indigenous student recruitment to SFU.