Memorial University has released a summary report on the 26 consultations that took place with members of Indigenous communities across Newfoundland and Labrador from August 2018-August 2019.
The report, Summary of Indigenous Community Engagements, is available online.
The purpose of the consultations was to gain thoughts and perspectives about past, current and potential engagements between Indigenous communities and Memorial University to guide the development of Memorial’s Indigenization Strategy.
Three overarching themes emerged throughout the consultations: increasing knowledge of Indigenous peoples and places; indigenizing the academy; and strengthening university-community Indigenous relationships. Topics centred on the need to focus on these three areas in order to guide Memorial’s efforts to indigenize the academy, address truth and reconciliation, and decolonization.
This work will involve engaging with Indigenous communities across the province, and ensuring a forum for ongoing discussions and consultations; documenting and celebrating current indigenization activities and engagements; continuously strengthening the integration of Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing within its academic programs and student services; and exploring new opportunities for innovative collaboration between the university and Indigenous communities. The President’s Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Affairs is leading the project.
Strategy to be shared winter 2020
“We committed to numerous consultations with Indigenous communities across the province before starting to develop Memorial’s first Indigenization Strategy,” said Catharyn Andersen, special advisor to the president on Aboriginal Affairs and lead on the development of the strategy. “Thanks to the support and engagement with more than two dozen communities across the province that commitment became a reality, and we are excited to be moving forward in an informed manner.
“Memorial was welcomed into these communities, and we thank everyone who participated for their engagement,” Ms. Andersen continued. “From helping us organize the sessions to promoting them with community members, we could not have made such progress without the collaboration. We are grateful to all who contributed and look forward to reconnecting with the communities to share the strategy in winter 2020.”
Further consultation with the university community will take place when the draft strategy is complete.