NOVEMBER 22, 1969


The UBCIC was founded in response to the Canadian federal government’s proposed “White Paper,” a 1969 government policy paper proposing dismantling the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA), repealing federal treaties, and transferring Aboriginal issues to the provinces. Led by Chief Dennis Alphonse (Cowichan Band), a conference in Kamloops saw 144 bands represented and resulted in the UBCIC being formed. In 1971, UBCIC released A Declaration of Indian Rights: The British Columbia (BC) Indian Position Paper (“Brown Paper”) rejecting the “White Paper” policies. In 1979, activist George Manuel, then-leading the National Indian Brotherhood & the World Council on Indigenous Peoples, became UBCIC head. He created the Aboriginal Rights Position Paper. Before leaving the post in 1981, his activist efforts included: the Indian Child Caravan (1980); Women’s 3-week occupation of the B.C. Regional Office of the DIA (1981); and Constitution Express (also 1981). In 2005, the UBCIC joined the First Nations Summit, the BC Assembly of First Nations, and BC Liberal government in drafting BC’s “New Relationship,” to guide “a new government-to-government relationship.” 

Source:  “Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs,”  Retrieved 8/14/2020,
Photo:  Padraic Ryan, 11/11/2007.  Aboriginal War Veterans Monument, Ottawa, Canada.  Permissive Use.

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