Reconciliation is a key strategic priority of UFV and has been since the Indigenizing Our Academy project launched in 2005. UFV has since created a Bachelor of Arts Major and Minor in Indigenous Studies as well as various Indigenous certificate and diploma programs.
Our partners in reconciliation are very important to UFV, and we could not be more honoured than to have the Native Northwest Reconciliation Fund choose to support UFV and UFV students.
Larry Garfinkel is the founder of Native Northwest and the Native Northwest Reconciliation Fund. As a social worker in the 1980’s who served as a case manager for children with addictions and who were being sexual exploited, Larry also became their legal guardian, and did so for several years. Larry then transitioned to working with Indigenous art and was astounded by the amount of material that was being culturally appropriated. He focused on bringing awareness and connecting people to authentic Indigenous material, and started producing books for Indigenous children to help them connect to their culture, and help non-indigenous children build an appreciation for Indigenous culture and promote cultural diversity. By 1991, Larry had left the field of social work and made Indigenous culture and awareness his full-time commitment.
Larry has always seen truth and reconciliation as not only a personal responsibility but also a collective responsibility. When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was released in 2008, Larry and Native Northwest produced red Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action posters for classrooms and public environments to create conversations and to bring awareness.
Native Northwest focuses on all Indigenous art and artists and was one of the first partners to collaborate with Phyllis Webstad on the first Orange Shirt Day in 2013.
Thank you to Larry Garfinkel and son, Gabe Garfinkel, for your generous support of UFV’s Halq’eméylem language students through the Native Northwest Reconciliation Fund. We are privileged to be working toward truth and reconciliation, together.