The Office of Indigenous Initiatives
The Office of Indigenous Initiatives was established in response to the report by U of T’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Steering Committee. The Office’s mandate is to support and guide the U of T community as it continues to work towards reconciliation. Efforts are directed towards listening, coordinating, advising, and collaborating with academic and non-academic communities in addressing the Calls to Action. The Office intersects with areas such as teaching and learning, student experience, Faculty and staff recruitment and engagement, and community-based research. The Office also conducts a regular environmental scan, produces a report to establish the impact and progress of Indigenous Initiatives on campus, and manages the activities of the Council of Indigenous Initiatives.
- Shannon Simpson, Senior Director, Office of Indigenous Initiatives
- Kelly Crawford, Assistant Director, Office of Indigenous Initiatives, University of Toronto Scarborough
- Tee Duke, Director, Office of Indigenous Initiatives, University of Toronto Mississauga
- Brianna Sands, Special Projects Officer
- Andrew Bomberry, Special Projects Officer (Curriculum and Education)
- Sandi Wemigwase, Special Projects Officer (Research)
- John Croutch, Indigenous Training Coordinator
- Leanne Grosbeck, Executive Assistant, Office of Indigenous Initiatives
- General Mailbox
Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) 2023 Tkaronto (Toronto) Conference
- Jennifer Sylvester, NAISA Conference Coordinator
- General NAISA Mailbox
The Council of Indigenous Initiatives
The Council of Indigenous Initiatives supports initiatives, strategies, and programming that advance access, retention and degree completion for the Indigenous community at the University of Toronto. The Council’s mandate includes supporting the University’s commitment to excellence and equity by fostering collaboration across the University and with Indigenous communities, government bodies, and other associates.
Truth and Reconciliation Report (TRC)
The TRC Steering Committee’s Report, Answering the Call. Wecheehetowin, is the University’s response to the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Steering Committee, comprised of co-chairs, assessors, Elders, students and faculty, had a mandate to focus on concrete actions. The Call to Action encompass a variety of short and long-term directives. Some actions are role-based, others are context-driven or address curriculum issues or research. They are intended to provide strong direction and to facilitate positive change.
U of T’s 34 Calls to Action
Please click here to see U of T’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.
U of T Strategic Research Plan
U of T’s Institutional Strategic Research Plan 2018-2023 includes a commitment to equity and diversity that is central to its public mission, and incorporates the pursuit of excellence, recognizing that often the best work gets done in collaborative environments.
Indigenous Initiatives Annual Progress Report
This Annual Progress Report is produced in direct response to the University’s Calls to Action, specifically Calls #33 and #34 (p. 38) which state:
“33 Short-Term Call to Action: All divisions should be required to report annually to the Provost on progress in implementing University commitments in relation to the calls to action contained in this report.
34 Longer-Term Call to Action: The implementation and monitoring body created by the President and Provost should conduct regular periodic reviews of the University and divisions’ progress in implementing the calls to action. The periodic reviews should occur every three years to ensure the University remains on track in implementation, and that the Committee’s and TRC’s recommendations are not forgotten over time.”
Click here to read the 2021 Indigenous Initiatives Annual Progress Report.
Click here to read the 2019 – 2020 Indigenous Initiatives Annual Progress Report.
Click here to read the 2018 – 2019 Indigenous Initiatives Annual Progress Report.
Protocols and Guidelines
The University is committed to forming and affirming respectful relationships with Elders and the Indigenous knowledge they carry. Individuals recognized by the Indigenous community of Toronto as Elders are respected and honored as keepers of wisdom. In order to maintain a respectful relationship with Elders at First Nations House, a protocol should be followed.
Land Acknowledgement Statement Protocol
The Land Acknowledgement is a formal statement recognizing the unique and enduring relationship that exists between Indigenous Peoples and their traditional territories. There is a protocol for use of the Land Acknowledgement Statement.