Reconciliation in the undergraduate engineering curriculum

Dr. Ian Foulds with students in a lab looking at a reading from an experiment.
Ian Foulds with School of Engineering students at UBCO.

Edited: June 29, 2022

UBC Okanagan

As part of the work of reconciliation in engineering study and practice, Dr. Ian Foulds and Dr. Jannik Haruo Eikenaar have implemented a scaffolded course of study through the four program years of the undergraduate engineering curriculum in the School of Engineering (SOE) at the Okanagan campus.

The project focuses on preparing students to understand why and how to engage in good faith with Indigenous communities in engineering contexts.

The project focuses on preparing students to understand why and how to engage in good faith with Indigenous communities in engineering contexts. There is a tremendous need for this understanding: professional engineering practice must be responsive to the legal and ethical demands of consultation and engagement, and through this project Ian and Jannik are preparing the students for a significantly changed work environment.

The specific interventions are:

  • Year One: introduction of foundational concepts in Indigenous reconciliation through study of sustainable design
  • Year Two: development of understanding of Indigenous communities’ histories and contexts through completion of a case study
  • Year Three: development of understanding of Indigenous histories and contexts as they pertain to engineering project management
  • Year Four: development of understanding of legal and ethical considerations in consultation and engagement with Indigenous communities

Complementing the curricular interventions, they have developed co-curricular mini-courses in Intercultural Foundations and Indigenous Foundations. These courses are available to students, staff, and faculty. Additionally, Ian and Jannik host a monthly meeting with members of Aboriginal Programs and Services, faculty from other academic units, and students, staff, and faculty in SOE.

Meet the Developers

Dr. Ian Foulds

As Associate Professor of UBCO's school of Engineering and a UBC Okanagan Principal’s Research Chair in Indigenous Reconciliation in Engineering, Ian is passionate about teaching students how to engage and consult with Indigenous communities in engineering contexts.

As an engineer and member of the Métis Nation British Columbia, Ian understands the importance of connecting engineers and aspiring engineers with Indigenous peoples and culture. Read more here: Ian Foulds (

Dr. Jannik Haruo Eikenaar

Dr. Eikenaar is an Assistant Professor of UBCO's School of Engineering. He consistently engages students in respectful, inclusive engagement through active, innovative learning strategies.

Read about Dr. Eikenaar's Teaching Excellence and Innovation award and his UBCO biography

UBC Vancouver

Agnes d'Entremont photo
Agnes d'Entremont

Through UBC Applied Science Department of Mechanical Engineering, Associate Professor of Teaching Agnes d’Entremont has created a MECH 2 course that embeds decolonization in a thoughtful and inspiring way. Learn more and enroll in the MECH 2 EDI Curriculum Demo.

Call to Action

Indigenous people have been speaking their truth for a long time. No longer should we say we have no words. We need to find words and take action. Demand more of yourself and our country. Continue to learn more about Indigenous people, Indigenous issues and Indigenous history. No matter what our disciplines, background or identity, we carry a duty to hear the truth about the genocide of Indigenous people and confront our past. Demand action of yourself.

Learn More

It is important to recognize the that anti-Indigenous racism is still very present in Canadian academia and everyday life. Get educated by reading Dr. Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond's report: In Plain Sight.

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