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Join the next discussion about Aboriginal reconciliation at SFU

October 12, 2016
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By Diane Luckow

SFU has committed $9 million to support Aboriginal reconciliation at the University, and on Oct. 4 more than 60 people attended the SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council’s (ARC) first open forum to help identify priorities that will make the biggest difference for reconciliation at SFU.

“We were really delighted to see a broad representation from across campus—not just indigenous people but also non-indigenous people saying they were there to learn, and didn’t know how to start,” says Katy Ellsworth, ARC’s project manager.

The most important themes that arose during the meeting:

  • the indigenous student experience needs to be further improved
  • the curriculum should be indigenized in a meaningful way
  • survivors of intergenerational trauma related to residential schooling would like a way to tell their stories—perhaps through a forum or a recording archive

ARC will hold its second open forum at the Burnaby campus on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Halpern Centre 114. The council is seeking ideas about how to indigenize the curriculum, how to develop Aboriginal cultural competencies among all SFU faculty and staff, and how to establish further campus amenities for indigenous students.

Open forums will also be held at the Vancouver and Surrey campuses in November.

ARC’s mandate is to recommend how the University can make the best and most sustainable use of the $9 million, which is one-time funding, with a three-year window to spend the funds. The council will submit its recommendations to the president’s office in 2017.

 To learn more about SFU-ARC’s progress, and forum dates: https://www.sfu.ca/reconciliation.html.