Background Content

Language and Culture (13-17)


November 8, 2017

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.