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Indigenous Strategy

Submitted by lsea on Tue, 09/20/2016 - 2:04pm

Indigenous Strategy

In line with the foundational goals of our Eyes High strategy, the University of Calgary is in the process of developing an Indigenous strategy. The university is committed to creating a rich, vibrant and culturally competent campus – one that welcomes and supports Indigenous learners, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in teaching and learning, encourages Indigenous community partnerships in research and academic programming and is appropriate and thoughtful in its response to the Truth and Reconciliation calls for action.

In March, 2016 the university’s Indigenous Strategy Task Force – a steering committee and working group combined – was established to produce a strategy for the university that will help to guide and shape the university’s future with respect to indigenization, and help to create a culturally competent and engaging teaching and learning environment for the whole campus community.

A strategic initiative under Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dru Marshall, development of the Strategy is informed by an Elder Advisory Council, a steering committee and two parallel documents: the Indigenous Strategy Task Force Terms of Reference and the Journey towards an Indigenous Strategy (An Indigenous Framework).

Community Engagement

In order to assist with the development of our Indigenous Strategy, the university has been gathering input from various community stakeholders during the fall of 2016 through a series of well-attended community-based dialogues and an online survey. Gathering Stories marks stage two of the indigenous framework titled “Journey Towards an Indigenous Strategy” which was adopted by the university early on in the development phases of this important Strategy. The intent of the Gathering Stories sessions was to gather information and feedback from a variety of stakeholders prior to the composition of the Indigenous Strategy. Gathering Stories community engagement sessions included the following: 

Inner City Dialogue Fort Calgary October 17, 2016, from
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

On-Campus Stakeholder Dialogue

MacEwan Ball Room

November 4, 2016 from               8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Traditional Knowledge Keepers' Dialogue By invitation only

November 18, 2016 from             10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Community Engagement Survey November 5 - December 5, 2016 This survey is now closed. Thanks to all who contributed.

We are pleased to announce that the university received overwhelming participation, support, and response from a wide variety of stakeholders through our community engagement sessions, We acknowledge and thank our contributors and participants. The information gathered will help to inform the content of our Strategy as we move forward, and is currently being reviewed and compiled.  Key themes emerging thus far include ideas that focus on:

  • understanding barriers, access, and support for Indigenous students;
  • developing and increasing cultural competence of the campus community regarding Indigenous peoples (history and culture);
  • reviewing and developing programs and courses that better prepare graduates to work with Indigenous peoples and within Indigenous communities;
  • increasing collaborative community partnerships in research, teaching and learning; and
  • creating more visible Indigenous spaces and places on campus. 

The program  for the On-campus Community Stakeholder dialogue session, held on November 4, 2016, featured speakers keynote speakers Shauneen Pete, Willie Littlechild, Reg Crowshoe, and Wilton Good Striker. A snapshot of the day’s session and speaker remarks were captured on video .  

If you have any questions about the development of our Indigenous Strategy, please email us at

Agnes Macphail tells the story of her brother, Chanie "Charlie" Wenjack, whose death sparked the first inquest into the treatment of Indigenous children in Canadian residential schools.

Indigenous Strategy Task Force Steering Committee

Submitted by lsea on Tue, 09/20/2016 - 2:14pm
Co-Chairs Dru Marshall
Provost and VP (Academic)
Jacqueline Ottmann 
Director, Indigenous Education Initiatives, Werklund School of Education
John Alho University Relations
Susan Barker Vice-Provost (Student Experience)
Reg Crowshoe Senate member, UCalgary; former Chief, Piikuni First Nation
Shawna Cunningham Director, The Native Centre
Pierre-Gerlier Forest Director & Palmer Chair - School of Public Policy
Evelyn Good Striker Chair, Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee
Jackie Sieppert Dean, Faculty of Social Work
Florentine Strzelczyk Vice Dean, Faculty of Arts
Dennis Sumara Dean, Werklund School of Education  
Roy Weasel Fat President, Red Crow Community College
Heather Smith-Watkins Office of Provost, Administrative Support

Submitted by lsea on Mon, 09/26/2016 - 2:12pm

Indigenous Strategy Working Group Membership

UCalgary Faculty Members  
Jackie Sieppert, Co-Chair
Faculty of Social Work
Shawna Cunningham, Co-Chair
UCalgary Native Centre
Ralph Bodor Faculty of Social Work 
Brendan Boyd School of Public Policy
Lynden Crowshoe Cumming School of Medicine
Holly Kerr University Relations
Sheila Leblanc Continuing Education
David Lertzman Haskayne School of Business
Sophie Lorefice School of Public Policy
Dustin Louie Werklund School of Education
Sharon Mascher Faculty of Law
Susan Mide-Kiss University Relations
Graham McCaffrey Faculty of Nursing
Nathan Peters Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Nancy Pollock-Ellwand Faculty of Environmental Design
Valerie Pruegger Office of Diversity, Equity and Protected Disclosure
Aruna Srivastava Faculty of Arts
Qiao Sun Schulich School of Engineering
Steve Vamosi Faculty of Science
Nicole Wheeler Human Resources
Vanessa Wood Enrolment Services
University of Calgary Internal Groups
Kori Czuy Graduate Students’ Association
Steven Gamble AUPE
Les Jerome Faculty of Social Work
Patrick Ma VP Student Life, Students’ Union
Tylor William Pavlik First Nations Student Association
Dylan Tetrault MaPS
Cora Voyageur  Faculty of Arts (Indigenous scholar)
Phyllis Steeves Werklund School of Education (Indigenous scholar)
Dan Wulff TUCFA
First Nations and Community Representatives
Howard Campbell Calgary Separate School Division
Glenn Eagletail  Tsuu T’ina Nation
Jeff Horvath Tsuu T’ina High School
Lori Pritchard Calgary Board of Education
Research Assistants
Victoria Bouvier Consultation
Noreen Demeria Internal scan
Gabrielle Lindstrom Consultation
Angie Tucker Literature Review
Administrative Support
Cheryle Chagnon-Greyeyes UCalgary Native Centre – cultural consultant
Alicia Clifford UCalgary Native Centre – consultation planning
Heather Smith-Watkins Office of the Provost

Yvonne Poitras Pratt at feather gifting ceremony with Wilton Goodstriker
and Casey Eaglespeaker during Graduation 2011.
Photo courtesy of Michael Buffett

Drum and Blanket, Graduation 2012. Photo courtesy of Cate Hanington 
and Shawna Cunningham

Contact Us

For more information about the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, please contact Heather Smith-Watkins | 403-220-4133 |