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Truth and Reconciliation at Ryerson

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was tasked with gathering information about and promoting awareness of Residential Schools in Canada, delivered its final report in 2015. The final report included 94 Calls to Action, a number of which relate to post-secondary education.

The President and former Provost, Mohamed Lachemi, launched a community-wide consultation on the response, which is being led by Denise O’Neil Green, Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion, and supported by the university’s Aboriginal elder, Joanne Dallaire.

“The university’s respect for Indigenous perspectives and commitment to building relationships with Indigenous communities is an important part of our culture at Ryerson and has been embedded as a core value in our Academic Plan. We support the commission’s call for increasing access to post-secondary education for Aboriginal students, and we will build on our existing efforts of outreach and recruitment within the Aboriginal communities, on our development of an Aboriginal-focused curriculum and on the work of the Aboriginal Education Council.” - President Mohamed Lachemi
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion logo, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada logo, and Aboriginal Education Council logo.

Consultations with Ryerson students, faculty, staff and the external community began March 2016 and will continue until a summary report is drafted and submitted to both the President and Provost.

Talking Circles

To initiate the consultation process with Ryerson’s Aboriginal* community, several Talking Circles were held in May and June with Aboriginal students and university groups, respectively. Additional Talking Circles will be held in Fall 2016. Dates and times for fall will be announced as they are scheduled. A photographer will be present and refreshments provided at each gathering.

EDI is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. Please contact us at trc.edi@ryerson.ca if you have any particular accommodation requirements.

Calendar of upcoming consultations
Date Time Audience
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 1pm – 3pm Ryerson Aboriginal Community; students, staff, and faculty
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 10am - 12pm Ryerson Aboriginal Community; students, staff, and faculty
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 12pm - 2pm Ryerson Community; students, staff, and faculty
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 12pm – 2pm Ryerson Community; students, staff, and faculty
Monday, October 17, 2016 11am – 2pm Ryerson Consultation with Toronto Aboriginal Agencies
Calendar of past consultations, events, forums and lectures
Date Event information
June 7, 2017 Aboriginal Groups (RASS, CUPE Instructors and Aboriginal Education Council)
May 19, 2016 LTO Conference, Keynote Address by Hon. Senator Murray Sinclair “Canada’s Residential Schools: The Story We All Must Know” Watch Hon. Senator Sinclair’s address
May 2, 2016 Aboriginal Students - Consultation
March 24, 2016 Dine and Discourse - The Truth and Reconciliation Report and calls to action: What does this mean to Ryerson? Watch the calls to action at Ryerson discussion Hosted by the Aboriginal Education Council and the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
February 1, 2016 School of Journalism- Atkinson Lecture feat. TRC Commissioner
October 7, 2015 Soup and Substance - Truth and Reconciliation Commission 2015 report: What does it mean for Ryerson Watch the TRC report at Ryerson discussion
October 5 - 9, 2015 Social Justice Week “Campus Dialogue on TRC Call to Action”
September 16, 2015 School of Journalism- Jody Porter talk “Reporting on Indigenous Issues”
September 23, 2015 Wab Kinew: Truth, Reconciliation and Politics at the Ryerson Student Learning Centre
February 25, 2015 Soup and Substance: Why do we acknowledge the land? Aboriginal knowledges at Ryerson Watch the discussion on acknowledging the land
June 6, 2013 Hon. Justice Murray Sinclair Ryerson Convocation Speech Watch Justice Sinclair’s convocation address online
Aboriginal resources at Ryerson University

Internal resources

The university has a long-standing commitment to supporting Aboriginal students, faculty and staff. Examples include:

  • Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services
    • Provides specialized services for Aboriginal, Metis and Inuit students on campus to develop a mutually productive relationship between Ryerson and the Aboriginal Community.
  • Aboriginal Liaison/Admissions Officer
    • Supports the unique ‘wrap around’ admissions process that is being built for Aboriginal learners
  • Aboriginal Human Resources Consultant
    • Ryerson’s Aboriginal Hiring Consultant is available to candidates thinking of applying, employees who are looking for support settling in, or leaders who are looking to hire Aboriginal employees.
  • First Nations, Metis and Inuit Faculty, Instructors and Staff Community Group
    • First Nations, Métis and Inuit faculty, instructors and staff from across the university who come together to learn from each other.
  • Eagle Staff inclusion in important university events
    • During a community ceremony and celebration on March 30, 2012 Ryerson University and Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services (RASS) were presented with an Eagle staff. The staff has very significant spiritual significance and is adorned with fur and thirteen eagle feathers. It is the traditional flag of Indigenous peoples and takes precedence over all other flags. Ryerson is the first and only university in Ontario to receive one.
  • A long-standing partnership with the First Nations Technical Institute
    • Provide university-level education in social work, and politics and government.
  • An active Aboriginal Education Council
    • With a mandate to participate in the process of developing a new relationship of truth and reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people at Ryerson, and in the community at large, based on knowledge and respect.
  • Centre for Indigenous Governance
    • Founded by Ryerson in 2010, The Centre for Indigenous Governance builds capacity for Indigenous governance, advances research in governance issues, and increases educational opportunities for Aboriginal students.
  • Chair in Indigenous Governance
  • TRC at The Ryerson School of Journalism
    • Master’s students at Ryerson School of Journalism embarked on this digital reporting project inspired by the TRC’s calls to action in areas from holistic healthcare to criminal justice, from preserving languages to fostering new generations of athletes.
  • Aboriginal Knowledges and Experiences certificate program
    • This certificate provides a broad orientation to Aboriginal experiences in Canada and how Aboriginal peoples have been impacted by laws, policies, and practices in the health, social services, human resources, and other sectors.

External resources

Aboriginal Students - Consultation

May 2, 2016

Aboriginal Students - Consultation

May 2, 2016

Aboriginal Students - Consultation

May 2, 2016

Aboriginal Students - Consultation

May 2, 2016

Aboriginal Students - Consultation

May 2, 2016

Aboriginal Students - Consultation

May 2, 2016

Aboriginal Students - Consultation

May 2, 2016

Aboriginal Students - Consultation

May 2, 2016

Ryerson TRC contact

For more information, please contact trc.edi@ryerson.ca.

A note on language and terminology

*Note: Aboriginal peoples in Canada include persons who are First Nation, Inuit or Metis. The term Aboriginal peoples was established by the federal government as an umbrella term for diverse Indigenous peoples in Canada.

First Nation(s) has been adopted in Canada to replace the term “Indian band” or “Indians,” however, this may not be a term with which Indigenous peoples identify. They may identify with their Nation, e.g. Anishinabe, Haudenosaunee, Mi’kmaq or Dene and/or other terms such as Native, Native Indian, Native American or Indigenous peoples. All of these identities can be part of the umbrella term of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.

Status refers to First Nations peoples who are recognized by the federal government as “Indians” under the federal Indian Act; Treaty refers to those who are Status and belong to a First Nation that signed a treaty with the Crown; Non-Status refers to individuals.