Marny Point is from the Musqueam band, of the Coast Salish people. Marny completed both her degrees: a Bachelor of Education (2002) & Masters of Educational Technology (2004) degrees at UBC, and is now an Language & Literacy Education (LLED) PhD student, researching the rewards and benefits of Intergenerational Learning. Marny is part of the Faculty of Education and an instructor for NITEP, Faculty of Education’s Indigenous Teacher Education program. She teaches the introductory Indigenous education courses and is passionate about supporting the NITEP teacher candidates, as they embark on their educational journey of Indigenous knowledge perspectives and pedagogies, while embracing a decolonizing teaching method and practice.
Since 2017, Marny has been a Lecturer in the First Nations and Endangered Languages program, teaching the intermediate level of the Coast Salish traditional Musqueam language course, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ . She understands how the connection to Indigenous languages; gives value, honor and a sense of identity, which cements Native Indigenous, people in place and culture. Marny has also been a long time member of the Musqueam Language and Culture committee.
Marny comes from a long line of fisher-people, and she too is an avid fisherwoman – owning and operating her own gill-netter. As her dad and grandfather always did, she harvests sockeye salmon from the Fraser River every summer, in this cultural activity, she is able to share those same teachings on to her own children, connecting them to their traditional language & ways of her people.
Marny is actively involved in the education of the Aboriginal youth – she has taught in the elementary grades, been a liaison for her community and neighboring schools and sits on various committees towards the betterment of Indigenous education.
Marny would also like to acknowledge UBC resides on the traditional and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Her surname is ‘Point’ because her people were referred to as the ‘people who lived here, on this point.’
What is your most memorable experience from your time in the Faculty of Education?
I think the most memorable experience for me in the Faculty, was when I sat on the Commencement stage in the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and watched our NITEP grads, along with their peers, drum while they crossed that stage! I was so happy to see the joy on their faces.
Where has your education from the Faculty of Education taken you in your career?
In earning my Bachelor of Education (BEd’ 02) & Masters of Educational Technology (MET’04) at UBC, it has opened doors that an Indigenous person (or student) without such credentials, would not have access to, such as being a part of this Faculty, and have the opportunity to give back to my Indigenous community. I have to lift-my-hands in respect to our Dean Frank for ‘opening the door’ to Indigenous Faculty. I also have to give honour to those that came before me and blazed this path, allowing me the opportunity to ‘knock at this door’ today.
Where do issues of inclusion find a place in your life or at work?
The greatest issue we (Indigenous faculty) face each day, truly is ‘inclusion’. I sit on committees and attend meetings, as it is a constant minding of the ‘gates’- that Indigenous people, Indigenous ways of knowing, Indigenous title, protocols and pedagogy to be included, embraced and/or mentioned in all components of our institution.
Do you have any words of wisdom for current students? Newly graduated folks?
If I can say or give anything to those of my Indigenous community current or alum, is for them to celebrate who they are and what they have accomplished!! I tell all my new NITEP students, they have entered UBC NITEP BEd with gifts and talents within, and it is my job to nurture that and assist them in strengthening their gifts, so they in turn will be strong enough to stand in their own identity and give or nurture their future students.