Congrats Dr. Kovach on the ISI Fund

Congratulations to Professor Margaret Kovach, and the Members of her team, for their successful application to the Indigenous Strategic Initiatives (ISI) Stream 1 Fund for their Project “Building Upon and Expanding the Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE) Program Success at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses.

Co-Applicants from the Vancouver campus are Harpell (Monty) Montgomery, Associate Professor in Social Work and Rebecca Jules, Specialist, Indigenous Graduate Initiatives, Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies.  The Okanagan Co-Applicants include Shawn Wilson, Associate Professor in Indigenous Studies and Stephanie Riley, Indigenous Graduate Student Advisor, College of Graduate Studies & AVP Students, Indigenous Programs and Services.

The SAGE (Support Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement) expansion project will increase SAGE program outreach to UBC Indigenous graduate students across disciplines and launch a SAGE program at UBC Okanagan campus. The SAGE (Support Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement) expansion project will increase SAGE program outreach to UBC Indigenous graduate students across disciplines and launch a SAGE program at UBC Okanagan campus.  SAGE is an Indigenous graduate student mentorship program offered each year. It was first introduced to the Faculty of Education, UBC-V in 2005 under the leadership of Dr. Jo-ann Archibald and has been active there since. SAGE includes an Indigenous Faculty Mentor & Indigenous Graduate Student Coordinator and provides Indigenous graduate students networking and support opportunities to help further their graduate research goals. SAGE support activities includes SAGE Saturdays, SAGE writing circles, SAGE bulletins, and an annual Indigenous Graduation Student Symposium co-hosted with Simon Fraser University. Alongside SAGE expansion activity, our team will conduct research into the SAGE experience to learn of its role in supporting Indigenous graduate student success. The team received $98,165.00 over a period of two years for this project through the Indigenous Strategic Initiatives (ISI) Fund Stream 1:  Innovative Projects.

For more information on this project please see the following website:


Purpose of the Indigenous Strategic Initiative Fund

The purpose of the Indigenous Strategic Initiatives (ISI) Fund at UBC is to advance the 2020 Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP) in accordance with its eight goals and 43 actions. Applications to Streams 1 and 2, to which Professor Kovach and her Team had applied, had to demonstrate strong strategic alignment to at least one of the 6 ISP priority actions: Action 8, 12, 18, 20, 34 and 39.

Priority Action 8 :” Provide free and publicly accessible educational tools, events and resources that promote the local and global implementation of Indigenous peoples’ human rights, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice.”

Priority Action 12 : “Support research opportunities for students to become global leaders in the advancement of Indigenous knowledge systems in health, governance, education, law, business, the sciences, the arts and Indigenous languages.”

Priority Action 18 : “Continue to partner with Indigenous communities locally and globally to develop accredited post-secondary Indigenous knowledge programs that can be delivered in communities and on campus.”

Priority Action 20 : “Establish a cultural expert program that brings Musqueam, Okanagan Nation and other interested nations’ cultural experts and Indigenous knowledge holders to the UBC campuses to work, teach and promote their expertise”.

Priority Action 34 : “Develop and deliver Indigenous history and issues training for all faculty and staff to be successfully completed within the first year of employment at UBC and to be reviewed on a regular basis.”

Priority Action 39: “Strengthen relationships with educational providers and support a comprehensive, multi-pathway approach for transitioning Indigenous students from K-12 or college to undergraduate studies, or from undergraduate studies to graduate studies.”

For more information on project funded through the Indigenous Strategic Plan please visit this site: