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Indigenous Initiatives Consultation and Communication Process

Staff and faculty wishing to develop projects and initiatives related to Indigenization and reconciliation at Ontario Tech must consult with the Indigenous Education and Advisory Circle (IEAC).  Such projects and initiatives include those aiming to: 

  • Build research and community partnerships.
  • Celebrate Indigenous cultures.
  • Develop new courses and programs with an Indigenous focus.
  • Enhance Indigenous student success.
  • Increase Indigenous participation in post-secondary education.
  • Modify courses and programs to include Indigenous content and ways of knowing.
  • Recruit, hire and retain Indigenous staff and faculty.
  • Share knowledge and recognition of Indigenous histories and realities.

Reaching out to the IEAC for consultation is part of building respectful relationships. IEAC guidance will help you develop projects and initiatives, and achieve outcomes, in ways that respect Indigenous ways of knowing and harmonize with the IEAC’s vision. 

Contact for advice or to begin the consultation process.

Contact the IEAC early, before there has been any formal decision-making on the direction, goals or process. 

You may be invited to attend an IEAC meeting to discuss your ideas and initial plans and to answer questions. You may be asked to provide a brief written summary ahead of time, and explain university procedures to community members.  

The IEAC makes decisions through consensus. As it takes time to develop consensus, be aware that the decision may not be finalized at the meeting. The IEAC will communicate with you as soon as possible. 

Be flexible and open-minded when developing your proposal. The IEAC will designate someone for you to ask follow-up questions and support your efforts to integrate IEAC guidance into your proposal. 

Curriculum that works towards fulfilling the the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action includes: 

  • Bringing forward and valuing Indigenous experiences, perspectives, cultures, histories and ways of knowing in respectful, appropriate ways.
  • Developing understanding of histories and legacies of Indigenous-colonial relations in Canada, including residential schools.
  • Developing understanding of treaties, Aboriginal rights in Canada and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Emphasizing anti-racist and culturally sensitive approaches.
  • Respecting local cultural protocols in engaging with Elders, Knowledge Keepers and community organizations.
  • Thinking critically about historical and ongoing Indigenous-colonial relations.
Historically, post secondary curriculum has ignored and/or denigrated Indigenous peoples, histories, perspectives, contemporary realities, ways of knowing and Indigenous-colonial relations. Making the curriculum more inclusive of Indigenous peoples and perspectives benefits all Ontario Tech students, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and contributes to educating for citizenship and professional competence.

The IEAC must be consulted when: 

  • Developing or modifying courses focused on Indigenous perspectives and content.
  • Developing or modifying modules in courses that are required as part of degree programs. 
  • Developing or modifying modules in courses that are required as part of professional education.
  • Developing or modifying programs of study focused on Indigenous perspectives and content, such as minors, specializations or fields.
The above includes all degrees, diplomas, courses and modules at the undergraduate and graduate level, and for continuing education.

If you are proposing a new program involving Indigenous content, contact the IEAC in the first week of January, to go through that year’s fall approval process. If you are proposing a new course, a major modification, or a minor modification involving Indigenous content contact the IEAC by April 1 to go through that year’s fall approval process.  The IEAC will determine the extent of consultation required for each proposal or modification.

Any undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education curriculum with Indigenous content, requires consultation with the Indigenous Education Advisory Circle.

This includes:

  • New courses or programs, and course or program changes, which identify, through their titles, calendar descriptions or learning outcomes, the development, exercise or application of knowledge, familiarity, experience or skills in any one or more of the following:
    • Canadian histories, laws, political structures, governance, geographies and environmental sciences, historical and contemporary colonialism. 
    • Indigenous knowledge, cultures and/or languages.
    • Indigenous lands, politics, laws and/or histories.
    • Indigenous theories, methods, practices, innovations and/or contributions.
    • Indigenous engagement and/or perspectives.
    • Indigenous pedagogies/Experiential learning.
    • Residential Schools, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit Residential Schools and Reconciliation.
  • General and/or introductory courses referring to topic areas on the above list.