Office of the Chancellor
Dr. Gwendolyn Point is the Chancellor-Elect of the University of the Fraser Valley.
She will be formally installed as Chancellor at a ceremony early in 2015.
The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the University of the Fraser Valley, presiding over Convocation and conferring UFV credentials (degrees, diplomas, and certificates). As a representative of the public interest at the university, the Chancellor also acts as an ambassador for UFV and is called upon to represent the institution at major events both on and off campus. The role of Chancellor is voluntary and is held for a three-year term.
The Chancellor is appointed by the UFV Board of Governors upon the recommendation of the Alumni Association and consultation with the UFV Senate. The Chancellor serves as a member of the Board of Governors and the UFV Senate.
The Chancellor-elect has a connection to the Fraser Valley that stretches back decades. She started her engagement with what was then Fraser Valley College in the early 1980s when she and her husband Steven (former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and now a B.C. provincial court judge) took university-level courses there.
From Fraser Valley College student to member of the University College of the Fraser Valley board of governors, to UFV assistant professor, Dr. Point’s career and educational journey has paralleled the development of UFV from college to university. Her experience as Chatelaine of the Province of British Columbia — the title given to the spouse of the Lieutenant Governor — will serve her well when performing the ceremonial aspects of the UFV Chancellor role.
Point is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at UFV, and teaches First Nations Studies courses, including Stó:lō Nation Development, and Stó:lō Communications and World View. She will be resigning her position as a faculty member at UFV in order to take on the voluntary Chancellor role.
She holds a Bachelor of Education degree from UBC, a post-baccalaureate diploma from SFU, and a Master of Education degree from the University of Portland, and is near completion of a doctorate in education from SFU. She also holds an honorary Doctor of Education degree from the University of Victoria.
Point brings extensive teaching and educational leadership experience, from elementary to postsecondary, to her new role, as well as extensive government experience from her work with provincial ministries and her service as Chatelaine of B.C.
She is a respected Stó:lō leader, mentor, and cultural advisor. She has contributed her cultural knowledge and experience to numerous books, conferences, workshops and communities, often as an invited keynote contributor.
She has also received numerous prestigious awards over the course of her career.
The ceremonial aspects of her Chancellor role will be inspired both by her time as Chatelaine of B.C. and her leadership role in the Stó:lō community.
When not busy with their professional or community roles, Gwen and her husband Steven enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.
More about Gwendolyn Point
Gwendolyn Point has been developing and delivering courses at UFV in the School of Social Work and Human Services since 2005 (and was a sessional instructor at UCFV from 2002–04). She also served as UCFV’s Aboriginal Curriculum Coordinator in 2001. She has been the coordinator and an instructor in the Early Childhood Education program at the First Nation Training and Development Centre in Prince Rupert, and, in her position as a faculty associate in the Faculty of Education at SFU, coordinated the supervision of student teachers, developed and delivered programs and served as liaison with public school administrators and sponsor teachers. As Manager in the Stó:lō Nation Education Department she was responsible for K-12, postsecondary, and First Nations language and culture programs. She has also worked as an elementary school teacher in Chehalis and as a native support teacher for School District 33.
Government and community experience
Point has extensive government and community experience. From 2007–12, as spouse of the Lieutenant Governor, she served as BC’s Chatelaine. This role demanded her participation in numerous and diverse public engagements, social as well as ceremonial. She served as official host of visiting members of the Royal Family, heads of state and other dignitaries, as patron of organizations such as the BC Council of the Girl Guides of Canada and First Peoples House, and as an Officer of the Order of St. John.
She served in the Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, Aboriginal Services Branch, as the regional coordinator for the Fraser Valley, 1997–99, and for the Northeast and Northwest Regions, 1999–2000. She currently serves on the Board of the First Nation Education Steering Committee (formerly vice-president). She has also served as independent chair of the Fraser Valley Aboriginal Interim Board of the Ministry of Children and Families, and numerous other community and educational committees, councils and societies, frequently as chair. She is currently Chair for the Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services.
She is a well-respected and well-recognized Stó:lō leader, mentor, and cultural advisor. She has contributed her deep cultural knowledge and experience to numerous books, conferences, workshops and communities, often as an invited keynote contributor.
Awards and recognition
Point has received numerous prestigious awards. In 2012, the University of Victoria awarded her an honorary Doctorate in Education. UFV (then UCFV) awarded her the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award in 2003. She has also received the Ambassador Award from Aboriginal Tourism BC, and was recognized as Honorary Witness by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. She has received a number of community awards for her contributions to Stó:lō language and cultural education, including recognition by the Stó:lō Nation, the Seattle Art Museum and others. In 2006, the Chilliwack School District set up two bursaries in her honour.
UFV’s first Chancellor, Dr. Brian Minter, also has a strong connection to the University of the Fraser Valley. In addition to serving as UFV’s first Chancellor from 2008 to 2014, he taught night school courses in horticulture in the 1980s and was chair of the Board of Governors when Fraser Valley College was transformed into a degree-granting university college in 1991. He is a donor to UFV and hands-on supporter of the UFV agriculture program. Minter was granted an honorary Doctor of Technology degree from UFV (then UCFV) in 2001.