Richard Vedan, (Secwepemc First Nation) First Nations Advisor, joined the UBC School of Social Work in 1995 and has just completed appointments (2001-2008) as the Director of the First Nation House of Learning and Senior Advisor to the President on Aboriginal Affairs. Before coming to UBC he was a member of Langara College faculty for 16 years.

Dr. Vedan has 40 years experience as a social worker and social educator. Clinical practice includes work with couples and families, drug and alcohol treatment programs, and policy and program development as Director of Health and Social Development for the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. Over the past 30 years he has served on the Boards of the Vancouver Friendship Centre, the Native Education Centre, the VPD Native Police Liaison Society, the Board of Governors of Frontier College, and the Board of Registration for Social Workers in British Columbia; and was appointed to the Children’s Commission’s Tribunal Panel.

Currently he is Co-Principal Investigator for: the Network Environments for Aboriginal Health Research (NEAHRBC), the Resilient Indigenous Health Workforce Networks Project with colleagues at the Universities of Alberta, Manitoba and Otago, Christchurch N.Z.; and is Co-PI/Participant in several of community-based research projects. He serves as a member of the CASWE Board of Accreditation; and is on the advisory boards for Providence Health Critical Incident Management Team, and the Centre for Addictions Research Centre in British Columbia. He is a member of the Aboriginal Social Work Educators Network, a founding fellow of the UBC Institute for Mental Health, a member of the College of Health Disciplines; and a member of the Board of Governors for the Kaiser Foundation.

Research activities have addressed identity issues, authenticity, multi-generational traumatic stress disorder, violent behaviour in First Nations communities and the benefits of traditional healing practices. The focus of current community-based participant action research is on Indigenous Knowledge/Traditional Medicine and Knowledge Translation in health and social development for urban and rural Aboriginal individuals and communities. He retired on January 1st, 2014.

Dr. Vedan has been Chair and taught in the Social Services Worker Department at Langara College. He also has been Chair of the Applied Arts and Community Services Division and Acting Dean of Instruction at Langara. He has held social development positions with the Department of Indian Affairs land Northern Development, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and has been the Bank Administrator for the Neskonlith Indian Band. He also has been the staff program consultant to several Indian bands and evaluator of several First Nation educational undertakings. Professor Vedan’s position is designated to the development of First Nation’s social work education. His research interests encompass the development of practice methods relevant to First Nations issues as well as the establishment of service delivery organizations that integrate traditional First Nations values and healing methods.

Research Projects:

Warriors against violence youth initiative program review

Conference Papers

First Nations Perspective Community in Group: Whose Definition?. Celebrating Diversity: Joining Together in Group Work, School of Social Work and Family Studies, UBC, June 05/00. Organized by: School of Social Work and Family Studies, the Groupworker’s Network, and the Ben Chud Memorial Fund .

Keynote address: First Nations Directions in Post-secondary Education . Conference for: First Nations Coordinators Institutes, Colleges and Universities of B.C., Kwantlen University College, Surrey, May 25/00. Organized by: Kwantlen University College and First Nations Education Coordinators.

The History of Contemporary First Nations Social Issues in British Columbia. Training Workshop for MCF Foster Parents , Continuing Education Langara College, January 18/001. Organized by: Langara College/Ministry for Children & Families.