Consultation - hand holding beads (ii’ taa’poh’to’p Indigenous UCalgary)

Community consultation

In 2016, UCalgary embarked on a journey towards the development of an Indigenous Strategy. 

The 2,200 points of contact made through multiple community dialogues, focus groups and a public survey inform every piece of ii' taa'poh'to'p. 

A strategic initiative under Dru Marshall, former Provost and Vice-President (Academic), ii' taa'poh'to'p was informed by an Elder Advisory Council, a Steering Committee, a Working Group, and two parallel frameworks: institutional and Indigenous.

Stages of our journey

Within the context of our Indigenous framework, the journey to develop our Indigenous Strategy involved four sequential stages of development.

Stage 1

Institutional Framework

  • Developing terms of reference
  • Setting goals
  • Confirming committee membership

Indigenous Framework

  • Setting out
  • Defining a common purpose

Stage 2

Institutional Framework

  • Information gathering
  • Data collection

Indigenous Framework

  • Clearing the path
  • Gathering stories

Stage 3

Institutional Framework

  • Data compilation and analysis

Indigenous Framework

  • Bringing the stories home

Stage 4

Institutional Framework

  • Strategy writing
  • Approvals and launch

Indigenous Framework

  • Empowering the spirit of Indigenization

Gathering Stories: community dialogues

To fully engage the community while developing the strategy, we embarked on a full-circle reflective journey by gathering and listening to stories. UCalgary hosted three in-person community dialogues, held numerous on-campus focus groups and launched an online survey that was accessible to the public.

Conversations focused on broad topics were categorized under the headings: people, place, and spaces; programs; and practice. In total, the university connected with and received input from more than 2,200 people. Events included:

  • The Inner City Dialogue, Oct. 17, 2016
  • The Community Stakeholder Dialogue, Nov. 4, 2016
  • The Traditional Knowledge Keepers’ Dialogue, Nov. 18, 2016
  • Online public survey, November 4 – Dec. 5, 2016

Emerging themes

A daylong mind-mapping exercise was held on May 22, 2017, in order to identify a set of interconnected, overarching themes that shape the recommendations found in ii' taa'poh'to'p. The emerging themes included:

  • Indigenous representation: authentic involvement in decision-making processes
  • Addressing divisive attitudes and behaviours
  • Decolonizing practices: policy, programming, curricula, research and pedagogies
  • Holistic student support services
  • System-wide learning
  • Indigenous places and spaces
  • Reciprocal and respectful relationships

The path to reconciliation

Knowledge and understanding of Indigenous perspectives, worldviews, histories, cultures and belief systems is essential to realizing how to move towards authentic reconciliation.

Learn more

Read the strategy document

Read the full strategy document, released in 2017, for details on the background, vision and recommendations of ii' taa'poh'to'p.