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An Initiative of

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The Okanagan Charter:
An international charter for health promoting universities

We acknowledge that this Charter was developed on the territory of the Okanagan Nation.

This land doesn’t belong to us. This land belongs to seven generations down the road. I pray that the water that we drink, the water that we swim in, will be there for our great great great grandchildren. As well as all over the world. I pray that the land that we walk on, the trees that we enjoy, will be there for our generations to come. These things, they all come together with health. Health of humans. Health of the animals. And health of the Mother Earth.

— Closing Prayer by Okanagan Nation Elder, Grouse Barnes, at the 2015 International Conference on Health Promoting Universities and Colleges

What is the Okanagan Charter?

An International Charter for Health Promoting Universities and Colleges, which calls on post-secondary institutions to embed health into all aspects of campus culture, lead health promotion action, and collaboration locally and globally.

The purpose of the Charter is threefold:


Guide and inspire action by providing a framework that reflects the latest concepts, processes, and principles relevant to the Health Promoting Universities and Colleges movement.


Generate dialogue and research that expands local, regional, national and international networks and accelerates action on, off and between campuses.


Mobilize international, cross-sector action for the integration of health in all policies and practices, thus advancing the continued development of health promoting universities and colleges.

Evidence shows that people who are well are more productive, better able to engage in deeper learning, have a greater sense of belonging, and a stronger sense of community.

Benefits of adopting the Okanagan Charter

Universities, colleges, and other higher education institutions are in a unique position to inform health and wellbeing knowledge, education, and research.

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Demonstrate leadership

Formal adoption of the Okanagan Charter by senior leadership reaffirms your organization’s commitment to furthering health, wellbeing, and sustainability and sends a powerful signal to the broader community.

Group of students laughing together.
Engage your community

Use the Okanagan Charter as a way to generate dialogue and research to inform health and wellbeing initiatives on campus settings and in broader society.

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Support the well-being of your community

Guide and inspire action to help your faculty, staff and students achieve their full potential in teaching, learning, research, and engagement.

More on the Okanagan Charter

Learn more about the Okanagan Charter and the steps for adoption through the official site or by downloading the official Okanagan Charter handbook.