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Ryerson University's Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force launches community engagement

Ryerson community feedback will inform principles that will guide how the University responds to Egerton Ryerson's legacy and statue.
March 16, 2021

TORONTO, March 16, 2021 – Today the Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force, opens in new window launched a two month-long community engagement period as part of its mandate to conduct broad, open and transparent conversations. The Task Force is also overseeing an in-depth research project regarding the history of Egerton Ryerson and his relationship with Indigenous Peoples. The research and community engagement feedback will inform the principles and recommendations the Task Force present to the President of Ryerson University regarding decisions on commemoration by the University. Community engagement will take place online in accordance with local public health guidelines with accessibility supports provided as needed. 

"We’re building on the strength and wisdom of our community to inform decisions at the University for years to come. We need to hear from our extended community, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and our neighbours in downtown Toronto," says Co-chair Joanne Dallaire. "I’m honoured to be part of this process and look forward to this important engagement."

In addition to the online survey, a community toolkit has been designed to support community members in planning and leading conversations at a time and space that works best for them. Community conversations are an important part of the engagement process and the task force is looking forward to reviewing all feedback. 

"Help us shape the University’s path towards reconciliation by sharing your insights and feedback with us. I acknowledge that this journey will be difficult, and I don’t take my responsibility lightly, but these conversations need to happen," says Co-chair Catherine Ellis.

For more information about the Task Force and the engagement, please visit, external link, opens in new window

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Media Contact

For more information and to schedule interviews with Task Force Co-chairs, please contact:
Karen Benner
Associate Director, University Communications
Ryerson University
416-979-5000 x 553494

About Task Force Co-chairs

Joanne Dallaire, Co-chair
Elder (Ke Shay Hayo) and Senior Advisor Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation for Ryerson University, chair of the Ryerson's Aboriginal Education Council, and co-chair of the Truth and Reconciliation directive. Joanne has educated and directed an Indigenous perspective with many organizations, such as the Ministry of Education, Legal Aid Ontario Prison Law Advisory Committee to the Board, Aboriginal Legal Services Toronto (Expert witness on Restorative Justice), Native Child and Family Services and Dr. Janet Smylie at Well Living House/St. Michael's Hospital.

Catherine Ellis, Co-chair
Chair and associate professor in the Department of History at Ryerson University and a faculty member on the Board of Governors.
Catherine earned her DPhil from the University of Oxford and previously held research and teaching appointments at Dalhousie University, the University of Victoria and the University of Lethbridge.