SFU-ARC invites community feedback on final report to advance reconciliation at the University
By Justin Wong
The SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council (SFU-ARC) is seeking community feedback on its final report containing recommendations on the best way to promote reconciliation on the University’s three campuses.
Last fall, SFU President Andrew Petter established SFU-ARC to facilitate and support broad discussions of how the University might address the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The recommendations within the report, titled Walk this Path With Us, will guide how the University will allocate $9M in strategic funding for projects and initiatives that will support reconciliation efforts over the next three years.
The council, co-chaired by SFU Board of Governors' member Chris Lewis, councilor of the Squamish Nation, and Kris Magnusson, dean of the Faculty of Education, held seven open forums and 11 council meetings over the past 10 months to inform the recommendations for the report. Participants included Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members connected with the SFU community. The council also consulted with the Métis Nation of B.C. and the three local First Nations on whose land SFU sits.
“We would like to thank everyone who has participated in, or followed the work of SFU-ARC,” says Lewis. “Through these open forums, we have done our best to listen, and to encapsulate and integrate the community feedback into the final draft report.”
At this stage, SFU-ARC invites brief comments about the report regarding potential errors, misrepresentations, or key omissions. Please visit the ARC website to provide your comments until Friday, July 7 at 4:00 P.M.
For continuing and more extensive feedback, the report is recommending a variety of events and committees, including campus-wide conferences and educational campaigns (p. 18), a senior Aboriginal leadership and administration position (p. 46), an Institute for Indigenous Dialogue, Governance, and Empowerment (pp. 44, 53), an Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre and Review Committee (p. 47), and a community liaison officer (p. 53).
Following the submission of community feedback, ARC will hold its final open forum in mid-July when the co-chairs will hear final in-person feedback, present highlights of the final report, the Calls to Action, and plans for the official handover ceremony in the fall.
“The ARC report is only the beginning of opportunity for input and change at the University," says Magnusson. "The open dialogue process has created a stronger awareness at SFU about our collective impact, responsibility and how to bring meaningful change for our communities.”