You can also download the Aboriginal Coordinated Strategy in PDF format or read its text below.

Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategy


This document outlines Carleton University’s Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategy. Carleton has made significant gains toward recognizing and including Aboriginal (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) cultures, traditions and worldviews on campus, and the implementation of this Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategy will serve to distinguish the university as a leader of Indigenous[1] initiatives at post-secondary institutions.

In August 2009, Carleton’s Task Force on Aboriginal Affairs accepted the Aboriginal Vision Statement:

Carleton University recognizes the historical and contemporary contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to the development of Canada. We aim to affirm these contributions, incorporate them into the life of our university and build on them moving forward. Carleton University aspires to become a noted centre for Aboriginal learning and innovative research as it embraces diverse populations in a caring community.

In June 2010, the Carleton Academic Plan was approved by the Senate of Carleton University, which included the Aboriginal Academic Initiative, with the following commitment:

Carleton University will take a leadership role in Aboriginal teaching and research. This includes reaching out to Aboriginal communities, welcoming Aboriginal students to campus, promoting research on Aboriginal affairs and opening our curriculum to the inclusion of Aboriginal knowledge. This will be an important opportunity for Carleton, not only regionally and nationally, but indeed with indigenous communities around the globe.

Strategic planning is an ongoing process, but one that must begin with the development and implementation of an initial framework.  To achieve this vision, Carleton has been moving forward with Aboriginal focused initiatives that include:

  • A co-ordinated strategy;
  • location;
  • enhanced visibility;
  • strong relationships and partnerships;
  • academic and research priorities; and
  • investment in people.

As universities seek to engage Aboriginal peoples, communities and nations on campuses across Canada, it is necessary to articulate the fundamental values that will move Carleton toward a meaningful incorporation of the Aboriginal Vision Statement. As a result, the university will ascend to a new plane of engagement with and involvement of Aboriginal peoples, that will include Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Carleton students, faculty, staff, and alumni; Aboriginal leaders, communities and organizations; and Canadians.

The fundamental values outlined below articulate a commitment from the university to ensure that Carleton University programs, services and community involvement adhere to the Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategy. In other words, Carleton does not claim to have achieved all of the goals set herein; rather, the fundamental values act as guides that Carleton students, faculty and staff use in their studies and in their work.[2]

Fundamental Values

Carleton University acknowledges the location of its campus on the traditional, unceded territories of the Algonquin nation. Carleton acknowledges First Nations, Inuit and Métis as the first inhabitants of this land.  As a starting point, meaningful and reciprocal relationships between Carleton and Algonquin communities will be built and fostered. Eventually, relationships will extend to numerous Aboriginal communities in Canada. These relationships will help to guide Aboriginal-related initiatives at the university.

Carleton University recognizes that Aboriginal students, faculty and staff study, teach and work at the university in the manner of aditawazi nisoditadiwin. Aditawazi nisoditadiwin, in Màmìwininìmowin (Algonquin language), explains the concept of being between two worlds with an understanding of both. In this way, Aboriginal peoples at Carleton combine the tools provided by the university with their traditional knowledge and grounding in communities.

Carleton University creates an open and welcoming environment that encourages Aboriginal peoples and communities to establish a connection with and fully participate in the Carleton community. This includes cultivating a safe space for creative and critical inquiry where the shared history and separate histories of Aboriginal peoples and Canadians may be explored.

Carleton University respects and values Indigenous knowledge. Recognizing that Indigenous knowledge has an important place and role on campus, Carleton University welcomes opportunities to include Indigenous knowledge into the learning environment. Carleton University acknowledges that the first inhabitants of this land now known as Canada are distinct peoples of sovereign Indigenous nations. As such, Aboriginal peoples hold a unique citizenship and, as First Peoples, are not considered to be “multicultural” or “visible minorities” in Canada.

Carleton University is dedicated to simultaneously recognizing the history of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in Canada, as well as the contemporary contributions and realities of Aboriginal peoples. As part of its dedication to addressing real world issues, Carleton commits to working with Aboriginal peoples, communities and nations in the modern day.

Carleton University is unique in its ability to reflect and honour the diversity of Aboriginal peoples and cultures in Canada’s capital, and promotes a place of belonging for First Nations, Inuit and Métis in the academy.

Finally, Carleton University understands that the fundamental values are aspirational in nature and continually works toward realizing them. Carleton welcomes Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, faculty, staff and communities to add to the Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategy. As a living, organic document, the fundamental values are subject to change as the Carleton community and Aboriginal communities grow, transform and flourish.

Approved by Senate, June 22, 2011.

[1] Carleton University uses the term “Aboriginal” in the spirit of its use in section 35 of the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982 to refer inclusively to members of First Nations (status and non-status, treaty and non-treaty Indians), Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. In doing so, it is important to recognize many people prefer the terms that are specific and traditional to their communities. Carleton uses the term “Indigenous” to refer to first peoples both in Canada and internationally.

[2] Ethical practices when working with Aboriginal peoples and communities include ensuring that actions follow words. The forthcoming Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategy in Practice will serve as a guide to put the fundamental values into action.