Education (6-12): Background Content

Building Reconciliation Forum

November 18, 2015

Universities Canada

1st Annual “Building Reconciliation Forum” 2015 – University of Saskatchewan

Following the release of the TRC’s summary report and calls to action in June, 2015, Chancellor Blaine Favel urged the University of Saskatchewan to continue its leadership and host a national forum to discuss the important issues emerging from the TRC. The forum was held November 18–19, 2015 on the Saskatoon campus and at Wanuskewin Heritage Park under four sessions:

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Research
  • Aboriginal Student Experience, and
  • University Governance and Structures.

Knowing that the TRC had set out the “why” and the “what” in their report, forum participants spent time discussing how universities can respond to the calls to action put forward by the TRC. There were four discussion sessions at the Building Reconciliation National Forum:

  • Session 1: Setting a change agenda for university teaching and learning
  • Session 2: Setting a change agenda for university research
  • Session 3: Setting a change agenda or Aboriginal student experience
  • Session 4: Setting a change agenda for university governance and structures of Saskatchewan Building Reconciliation National Forum Report.pdf

September 28, 2016

Universities Canada

2nd Annual “Building Reconciliation Forum” 2016 – University of Alberta

At the event, the delegates attended sessions about:

  • the experiences of Indigenous students in universities,
  • incorporating Indigenous content into program requirements,
  • conducting community-engaged research and
  • working together to address common issues.

They also heard keynote addresses from former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine, former Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Knowledge Lorna Williams, and Manitoba Member of the Legislative Assembly Wab Kinew.

November 15, 2017

Universities Canada

3rd Annual “Building Reconciliation Forum” 2017 – University of Manitoba

Higher education and Indigenous leaders from across the country reinforced their commitment to action on reconciliation through higher education as the third annual National Building Reconciliation Forum, hosted by the University of Manitoba. At the closing ceremony of the forum, it was announced that the University of Victoria has been selected to host the 2018 forum which will focus on Indigenous language revitalization and economic growth of Indigenous communities. Just over half of Canadian universities offer Indigenous language courses, and since 2015, there has been a 57 per cent increase in courses taught in which the language of instruction is an Indigenous language.

Building on surveys in 2013 and 2015, a new 2017 Universities Canada member survey shows that universities across the country are prioritizing reconciliation efforts.

  • Almost 70 per cent have or are developing strategic plans for advancing reconciliation;
  • Well over two-thirds are working to include Indigenous representation within their governance or leadership structures to ensure Indigenous voices are included in decision-making in a meaningful way.
  • Two-thirds are working to incorporate Indigenous knowledge, methods and protocols into research practices and projects and the same number are striving to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms on campus.
  • Close to 80 per cent are conducting activities to promote intercultural engagement through cultural activities, events and forums, talking circles, competency or reconciliation training.
  • Just over 70 per cent have a partnership with Indigenous communities, Indigenous organizations or Indigenous postsecondary institutions to foster dialogue or reconciliation.

October 8, 2019

Universities Canada

5th Annual Building Reconciliation Forum 2019 – Algoma University

The 2019 forum was jointly hosted by Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Nipissing University, Cape Breton University, the University of Northern British Columbia and Algoma University. The Forum took place at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, from October 8th-10th, 2019. The 2019 theme was: “Working Together to Advance Healing & Reconciliation…”
Key Forum Themes:

  1. In order to move forward with reconciliation it is important to know and feel the truth of Canada’s history and the lingering intergenerational impacts of this truth
  2. Reinforcing Anishinaabe ways of knowing through the integration of land- and culture- based experiences aimed to provide a fuller learning opportunity to enrich dialogue, engage participants and shape future actions
  3. Framing the future; what doe reconciliation look like over the next five years?
  4. All voices matter…ensuring representation from all stakeholders and all regions of the country is the only way to accomplish true national reconciliation

September 21, 2021

Universities Canada

6th Annual Building Reconciliation Forum 2021 – Université Laval and Université du Québec network

Université Laval and the Université du Québec network, in partnership with numerous Indigenous organizations, will host the 6th edition of the National Building Reconciliation Forum from September 21 to 23, 2021. Under the theme “Falling into step with First Peoples students,” the Forum will rally Indigenous and non-Indigenous stakeholders from the university community to gain a better understanding of the cultural and historical realities of First Nations and Inuit in Québec and the rest of Canada with regard to education. The attendees will share their thoughts and their concrete initiatives to support the multiple educational paths and trajectories of First Peoples students.
“First Nations and Inuit peoples face significant obstacles on the road to academic success and admission to university. It is important to recognize the systemic barriers they must overcome, and adopt tangible measures to assist in their success,” mentioned Michèle Audette, Senior Advisor for Reconciliation and Indigenous Education at Université Laval.

The theme of the forum “Falling into step with First Peoples students” to…

  • Show respect for the realities of First Nations and Inuit people regarding education in Québec (e.g., language, culture, history, pride in their identity, etc.).
  • Support the multiple paths and trajectories of First Peoples students.
  • Recognize the systemic barriers and challenges associated with each of the different levels of education.
  • Identify potential mechanisms to overcome these barriers, determine the roles of different actors (governments, educational institutions, services, etc.), and obtain concrete commitments from these actors to support and guide First Peoples students throughout their education

The goals of the forum:

  • Developed in a collaborative process, the forum seeks to rally and bring together the main actors in the world of Indigenous education and all post-secondary institutions in Quebec and across Canada.
  • It will serve as a springboard to ensure that the ideas discussed at the forum come to fruition, and that they help support Indigenous people in the process of taking charge of education by and for First Peoples, and transforming Québec and Canadian society.
  • Our hope is that this event will mark a commitment by the actors involved to take concrete action aimed at overcoming systemic barriers to the success of First Peoples students.

Other Background Content By Theme

2019 Indigenous Economic Report

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Principles on Indigenous Education

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Canadian University Statistics

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Canadian College Statistics

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