The heraldic arms were presented to UNBC by the Governor General during the 1994 Convocation Ceremony. All elements indicate characteristic features of the University:
The shield, in UNBC's colours of green and gold, contains the open book, a traditional symbol of learning; the raven, a hardy resident northern bird known for its intelligence; and a coniferous tree, the dominant flora and backbone of the northern economy.
The wreath is created from symbols of Canada, British Columbia, and the north: maple leaf, dogwood, and snowflake. The crest is a salmon, which is the base of the UNBC mace/talking stick, used there as indicative of all peoples in the region.
UNBC's heraldic symbols are used on legal and/or ceremonial documents, such as student transcripts and parchments. They are not to be used for promotional or advertising purposes, or as a substitute for the official UNBC logo.
To the left is the kermodei bear, representative of the northwest, and to the right is the woodland caribou, representing the central interior and northeast.
The compartment includes mountains and trees, distinctive of much of the region, and a wheatfield, signifying the Peace River District.
The motto 'En cha huna, inspired by Dakelh (Carrier) Elders, directly translates to "he/she also lives", and is a reminder to respect all forms of life. It would be used when reminding someone, critical of another, that that person was also a living being, with a voice and viewpoint. The motto encapsulates much of the spirit of academic freedom, of respect for others, and the willingness to recognize different perspectives.