Creating space for transformative conversations
Perspectives on Reconciliation
The inaugural Summer Institute, Perspectives on Reconciliation, aimed to help accelerate reconciliation work throughout the post-secondary sector in Canada and to connect many of the leaders at the forefront of this important journey. The Summer Institute was developed as a partnership of Yukon College, Vancouver Island University and the McConnell Foundation, with support from Universities Canada and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).
Dr. Robert Daum of Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and Math’ieya Alatini, former chief of the Kluane First Nation, were contracted to co-design and co-facilitate the dialogues. Local Elders opened and closed the sessions, as well as participating actively in each day’s discussions.
The Summer Institute
The Summer Institute took place in Whitehorse and Carcross, Yukon Territory, from August 10-15, 2019. Participants included the president or the president’s proxy and the reconciliation lead from 31 universities, colleges and institutes across Canada. The Institute catalyzed creative thinking, strengthened relationships, facilitated knowledge exchange and enhanced regional and national networks.
Programming included experiential learning, dialogues with peers, and focused conversations each day with the colleague from their own institution (reconciliation leads with presidents or their proxy). Several participants noted the importance of this rare opportunity for reconciliation leads and presidents or their proxies to be able to exchange ideas, foster stronger collegial relationships, and develop shared understandings over several days about challenges and opportunities for advancing reconciliation at their institution.
The multi-day program allowed participants to build on each other’s ideas, surfacing bold recommendations to meaningfully advance systemic change in support of reconciliation.