Since the Carleton University Strategic Indigenous Initiatives Committee (CUSIIC) was formed in December 2018, we have conducted more than 40 consultations – on campus and off – that included more than 450 people.
The discussions at these sessions have been rich, collaborative and informative, and we thank you for your enthusiastic engagement. Based on the feedback we gathered, we have published a set of 41 draft Carleton-specific Calls to Action as part of an institutional response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The draft Calls to Action are aspirational recommendations that have evolved throughout our consultative and iterative process.
Draft Calls to Action
- We call for the development of an Indigenous Community Engagement Policy that would guide staff, faculty and students in the areas of recruitment, research, and partnerships with Indigenous communities.
- We call for resources to continue fostering mutually respectful relationships with local school boards for the purpose of supporting the transition of Indigenous students from secondary school into postsecondary.
- We call for the development of a digital Indigenous hub where information on all Indigenous services, events, and programs on campus can be easily accessed.
- We call for the development of communication resources to establish clear and consistent language for the University when writing about Indigenous peoples.
Indigenous Student Support (Academic and Cultural)
- We call for the identification of a designated space for all Indigenous programs and services within the university including, but not limited to, the Centre for Indigenous Initiatives, the Indigenous Enriched Support Program, the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies, and the Indigenous Research Institute. In the longer term, we call for targeted fundraising towards the creation of additional Indigenous-focused space on campus, and towards the consolidation of Indigenous services for students, staff, and faculty.
- We call for the designation of appropriate spaces for ceremonies and cultural activities, managed by the Centre for Indigenous Initiatives, for the benefit of Indigenous students, faculty and staff.
- We call for the collaborative development of a Circle of Care Protocol for Indigenous students in crisis, by the Centre for Indigenous Initiatives, Health and Counseling Services, and the Office of Student Affairs.
- We call for appropriate resources to be developed to support the needs of Indigenous students with young families.
- We call for increased specific funding for bursaries and scholarships for Indigenous students, and targeted fundraising for the creation of sustainable funds.
Student Experience (Recruitment, Retention, Graduation)
- We call for the development of an Indigenous Recruitment Strategy to include admission policies ensuring seats for First Nation, Métis and Inuit students into competitive programs; including specific seats for Algonquin students from the communities of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation.
- We call for the development of a Sustainability Strategy for the Indigenous Enriched Support Program in order to increase human resource and admissions capacity and to ensure regular program review.
- We call for space and funding to hold at least one large university-wide Indigenous event per year in order to facilitate relationship building, learning, and appreciation of Indigenous cultures and ways of knowing across the University.
- We call for specifically reserved housing for first-year undergraduate Indigenous students with priority given to those students coming from remote locations.
- We call for the establishment of a Carleton University Safety Relations Table in collaboration with the Centre for Indigenous Initiatives, Carleton Safety, and the Department of Equity and Inclusive Communities.
Ways of Teaching and Learning (Indigenous Knowledge / Awareness)
- We call for a best practices review of co-teaching models with the goal of allowing for the inclusion of Indigenous doctoral students, Knowledge Keepers, language experts, and those with lived experience in the teaching process.
- We call for appropriate funding in each Faculty for the express purpose of compensating Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and community members who are providing expertise.
- We call for more teaching spaces with moveable furniture, available to be booked by faculty, staff and students, in order to better support various Indigenous teaching and learning models.
- We call for Indigenous language courses, with an emphasis on the Algonquin language and on Indigenous languages that are considered endangered; as well as for the removal of barriers to having community language experts teach these courses.
- We call for opportunities for Indigenous students to participate in land-based learning.
- We call for the creation of specifically designed pathways for Indigenous students in science, technology, engineering, architecture, mathematics and linguistics.
- We call for the development of appropriate measures to ensure that every student graduating from Carleton University achieves basic learning outcomes with regards to Indigenous history and culture.
- We call for the development of courses and programs for specific Indigenous communities that can be accessed by students who wish to remain in their communities.
Culture, Systems and Structure
- We call for the rapid implementation of the structural changes necessary for the consolidation of all Indigenous initiatives through the establishment of a separate office for the Centre for Indigenous Initiatives, and through the creation of the appropriate senior administrative positions: for example, a Director for the Centre of Indigenous Initiatives and an Assistant Vice-President of Indigenous Initiatives.
- We call for further enhancing the visibility of Indigenous peoples, cultures and ways of knowing on campus: for example, the inclusion of Indigenous members of the Carleton community in art purchases, building renovations, the naming of buildings, building construction and landscaping.
- We call for professional development and educational opportunities for faculty, staff and administration towards obtaining core competencies in Indigenous and Canadian histories and experiences.
- We call for close collaboration between the University and the Indigenous Education Council (IEC) towards better defining the relationship and mutual responsibilities pertaining to decision-making on Indigenous matters within the university.
- We call for Indigenous representation, with full voting rights, on both the Board of Governors and the Senate.
- We call for the revision of the Traditional Medicine Use Policy based on the Ontario Human Rights Code for the purpose of supporting Indigenous students, staff and faculty.
- We call on the Convocation Working Group to ensure that appropriate Indigenous cultural protocols are included in convocation ceremonies.
- We call on Carleton University to incorporate environmental sustainability as a fundamental institutional value to guide its current operations and future development.
- We call for the continuous increase of the number of Indigenous employees at Carleton, supported by the development of Indigenous hiring policies for Indigenous-specific faculty and staff positions.
- We call for the creation of an Indigenous Faculty Council.
Research and Innovation
- We call for the establishment of an Institute for Indigenous Research with the intent of continuing, consolidating and further promoting innovative and collaborative research pertaining to Indigenous peoples, communities and nations.
- We call for the development of a policy that would allow for Indigenous knowledge keepers to advise and sit on thesis committees when appropriate.
- We call for the enhancement of MacOdrum Library’s collection of Indigenous literature, stories, language resources, and visual arts, following a review of the current Indigenous collection.
- We call for the creation of additional Research Chair positions to further advance Indigenous research, knowledge translation, and community-building.
- We call for the establishment of an Indigenous Research Ethics Board with the purpose of ensuring that research conducted by Carleton faculty, students and staff take Indigenous governance, legal and cultural protocols into account.
Metrics – Qualitative and Quantitative (Faculty, Staff, and Students)
- We call for the performance evaluation of senior administrators to explicitly take into account Carleton University’s mandate around Indigenous Initiatives and reconciliation.
- We call for annual reporting on the recruitment, retention and graduation of Indigenous students.
- We call on each Faculty and each support unit on campus to develop their own strategies to support these 41 Calls to Action.
- We call for a formal annual report on the progress made towards fulfilling the Carleton University Strategic Indigenous Initiatives Committee’s Calls to Action.