In 2016, SFU President Andrew Petter convened SFU’s Aboriginal Reconciliation Council (SFU-ARC) to facilitate and support broad discussions on how the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, specific to post-secondary education, would be addressed at the University. SFU has committed $9M toward a project or series of projects that will promote reconciliation within the SFU community.
Role of SFU-ARC
Over the course of the fall 2016, and spring 2017, members of the SFU-ARC consulted broadly with the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities both on and off campus, developed a set of recommendations to guide the University in targeting the funds in ways that will support reconciliation efforts over the next three years. The funds are one-time expenditures, and must be used within the 3-year mandate.
The name of the Aboriginal Reconciliation Council was selected to reflect the purposes and orientation of the council and to respect Aboriginal traditions and viewpoints.
The word “Reconciliation” was chosen to signal that the funded projects are intended to promote a renewed and respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people connected with the University.
The word “Council” indicates that the SFU-ARC asked for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal partners to share their advice and wisdom to guide the decision-making process. The Council was not a standing or permanent committee of SFU, and was active only for the duration of the project.
The SFU-ARC co-chairs were Mr. Chris Lewis, Councillor of the Squamish Nation and Member of the SFU Board of Governors, and Dr. Kris Magnusson, former Dean of the Faculty of Education.
SFU-ARC's final report was presented during a ceremonial event in October, 2017 at SFU’s Burnaby campus. The ceremony, rooted in Coast Salish Indigenous tradition, celebrated and witnessed the work of everyone who contributed.