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With a shared commitment towards advancing reconciliation, Ontario’s universities continue to work to better support Indigenous voices and peoples in university environments across the province.
The insights within the sector-driven report, Lighting the Fire: Experiences of Indigenous Faculty in Ontario Universities – the first of its kind in Canada – will serve as an important step towards gaining a deeper understanding into the experiences of Indigenous faculty members at our institutions.
While Indigenization initiatives vary across universities, they help fuel the development of knowledge and skills that will follow individuals beyond university walls.
From inclusion to fundamental transformation, Ontario’s universities are:
Many of the initiatives currently taking place on our campuses were made possible through the significant contribution and leadership of members of the Indigenous community, including faculty members. Their critical work has enabled universities and Indigenous community members to work in partnership, bringing culturally appropriate supports for students, as well as Indigenous histories, culture, knowledge and ways of knowing on campuses throughout Ontario.
But there is more work to be done. The results of Lighting the Fire, and the corresponding Calls to Action, provide an important opportunity for universities to better support the inclusion of Indigenous voices and peoples on our campuses.
The report is a vital catalyst for challenging ourselves to achieve even greater Indigenization at Ontario’s universities, particularly as we approach the fifth anniversary of the TRC report that was tabled in December 2015.
We are grateful to the faculty members who participated in this survey. Their reflections and perspectives are invaluable as we continue to work to ensure all community members have opportunities to succeed.
As institutions of higher learning, Ontario’s universities can and will do more to advance the process of reconciliation on our campuses, in our communities, in our province, and across Canada.
For more information around initiatives occurring at each Ontario university, visit:
As Indigenous faculty join campuses in increasing numbers, we must ensure they have the necessary supports and resources so they can thrive and succeed. We must continue efforts to fully integrate Indigenous histories, culture, traditions and knowledge within our institutions – in our academic programs and research, our cultures, our spaces and structures. The Lighting the Fire report provides valuable data to assist Ontario universities in this important work and to advancing meaningful changes to support our Indigenous faculty.”
Exploring the ways in which Indigenous faculty and scholars are experiencing issues within especially renewal, tenure and promotion is assisting us in identifying required supports to ensure that these same faculty members can support and drive the agenda of decolonizing and Indigenizing our campuses. They are the leaders who will pave the way for the acknowledgement and inclusion of Indigenous ways of knowing and being in all the work they do – service to community, publishing and teaching. They are especially important in developing and encouraging embracing of Indigenous pedagogies, methodologies and epistemologies within our institutions.”
The insights within the sector-driven report, Lighting the Fire: Experiences of Indigenous Faculty in Ontario Universities, will serve as an important step towards gaining a deeper understanding into the experiences of Indigenous faculty members at our institutions. As institutions of higher learning, Ontario’s universities can and will do more to advance the process of reconciliation on our campuses, in our communities, in our province, and across Canada.