Historic symbols of agreement displayed in the University's Board and Senate chambers
By Tracelyn Cornelius.
Following the University of Waterloo’s historic commitment to truth and reconciliation, three Wampum belts, traditional symbols of agreement for some Indigenous communities, are now on display in the halls of the senate.
On September 22, 2022, the Indigenous Peoples of the University of Waterloo asked Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor, for a commitment to reconciliation, Indigenization and decolonization at the institution. The president committed the University to fostering a better understanding of Indigenous history, developing an awareness of the damaging intergenerational effects of colonialism and the residential school system and taking responsibility for vital components of the reconciliation process.
Speaking during Monday’s senate meeting, Elder Dr. William Woodworth, Elder in Residence in the Faculty of Engineering, explained that Wampum belts have been used for centuries by Indigenous peoples for ceremonial purposes to signify respect between peoples and cultures.
“These two Wampum belts are very meaningful and represent the collective responsibilities to all people to work collaboratively together,” Elder Woodworth said. “We are mounting the Wampum belts in the senate so that as we do this business, we remember the agreement that we have made, and that it is valid forever.” (editor's note: a Wampum belt presented by Six Nations Polytechnic to the University of Waterloo in January 2015 to mark the partnership between the two institutions was installed along with the two belts received by President Goel in 2022.)
Indigenous Knowledge Keeper in the Faculty of Health, Myeengun Henry also addressed the senate. Henry, who is a former Chief of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, explained that the University of Waterloo has the opportunity to be a shining example to other institutions interested in following through on their commitments to truth and reconciliation in meaningful ways.
“A certain consciousness of the need to develop relationships built on trust and respect with Indigenous Peoples has been awakened in Canada,” he said. “What we are about to do at the University is to develop practices for sustaining long-term and effective partnerships that support other ways of knowing as we foster mutual responsibility and respect.”
What is the significance of the Wampum Belt?
Wampum is created from clam shells. The beads are skilfully cut from the white and purple parts of the shell. Because of the effort that is needed to make a bead, wampum is highly valued. For some Indigenous peoples, the shell is thought to be a living record used to remember an initial agreement and the history that has happened to date. Wampum belts have also been used in the past in matters regarding treaties and agreements made between Indigenous peoples and settlers.
The Two Row Wampum represents a living treaty established for people to live together in peace with the expectation that each party will respect the ways of the other as they meet to discuss solutions to the issues that come before them.
Registering your international travel
A message from Waterloo International in support of International Education Week.
Did you know that the University of Waterloo has over 1,000 students, faculty and staff currently travelling abroad? At any given time, large numbers of campus colleagues are on exchanges, internships, and field trips, going to conferences, and conducting research around the globe.
Waterloo International supports campus members travelling internationally through our Safety Abroad team. They are here to help you prepare effectively for international travel and to assist you as you move around the world on university activities and business. To help support your international travel, there are three steps you are required to complete to meet the University’s travel safety requirements:
- Obtain approval (students only)
Students are required to obtain approval from the appropriate International Travel Approving Authority before travelling internationally and completing the travel registration process. This approval must be documented on the International Travel Approval form.
- Register travel
If you are travelling as part of a group, you do not need to complete the form (group travel registration should be completed by the group leader using the International Travel Registration form). Similarly, if you are a faculty or staff member travelling within the United States you do not need to complete this form but can if you want to register your trip.
- Complete pre-departure and travel risk mitigation activities
Once your travel is registered with Waterloo International, you will receive an email within 2-3 business days with instructions to complete the required pre-departure and travel risk mitigation activities. These may include, but not be limited to:
- completing a LEARN pre-departure training module;
- reviewing a pre-departure travel checklist;
- signing an International Mobility Program (Non-Co-op) Acknowledgement;
- registering with the government and obtaining visas;
- updating your emergency contact information;
- verifying your travel and health insurance; and
- ensuring your travel vaccinations are up to date.
In addition, travellers who register will receive a Travel Risk Brief provided by Anvil Group, the University’s third-party provider of worldwide medical, security, travel, and emergency assistance for university-related and personal travel. You are required to review the provided brief before travelling. Please note: Anvil Group is not a travel insurance company. Any costs associated with assistance you receive are the responsibility of you or your travel insurance provider.
By completing these steps, you will have a knowledgeable and experienced team support you while travelling. Working together, the Safety Abroad team and Anvil Group will provide you with important incident alerts and advisories for your travel destination. Safety Abroad will also assist with personal safety measures should any risk arise. Your safety and security when going abroad is our mutual obligation and priority.
Universal Design for Learning and Wellbeing Community of Practice event on Thursday
A message from Campus Wellness.
The Wellness Collaborative, Centre for Teaching Excellence, Centre for Extended Learning, Student Success Office, AccessAbility Services, Writing and Communication Centre, and fellow instructors have partnered up to critically look at how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can (and cannot) support holistic wellbeing in the learning environment. We invite you, instructors and others who support the learning environment, to join us in a Community of Practice (CoP).
We are excited to announce that our next Community of Practice meeting, UDL for Inclusive Pedagogy, takes place this week on Thursday, November 24 at 1:00 p.m.
In this session, Dr. Jay Dolmage and Dr. Trevor Holmes will share their histories with UDL in their teaching, and facilitate conversations about inclusive teaching practices and barriers to inclusion at Waterloo.
For more details about each session, see our website.
The CoP will be hosted virtually through Microsoft Teams and members can access resources and support asynchronously.
To get involved in the CoP, please complete this brief Qualtrics survey.
Please note that you do not need to attend all the sessions to join the CoP, as our aim is to make this CoP accessible for all who are interested. We look forward to connecting with you.
Register for a talk on social science research funding on December 8
A message from the Office of Research.
Join Ted Hewitt, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), for his presentation Research Funding in the Social Sciences and Humanities: Past, Present and Future on Thursday, December 8 from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.
Ted Hewitt was appointed president of SSHRC in March 2015. He served as the inaugural chair of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee from 2017 to 2019. Ted was vice-president, research and international relations, at Western University in London, Ontario, from 2004 to 2011, where he had been a professor of sociology since 1989. He was also a public policy scholar at the Brazil Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. A leading authority on Brazil, Ted has published in monographs, edited works and a range of academic journals. In 2018, Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations named him Grand Officer of the Order of Rio Branco—one of the highest levels of merit—for the many years he has fostered bilateral business and research partnerships between Brazil and Canada.
Ted’s current research focuses on national and international innovation systems, with emphasis on the roles of universities, industry and government in promoting economic prosperity in Latin America and beyond. He is co-chair of the Canada-Brazil Joint Committee for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation, and a member of the board of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce.
Ted holds a PhD in sociology from McMaster University.
Please register for either the in-person or virtual session. The in-person event will be held in the Theatre of the Arts, Modern Languages Building (ML), University of Waterloo.
Douglas Wright Engineer-in-Residence showcases innovations from Peel Region to address the Canadian Engineering Grand Challenges
By Nadine Ibrahim.
The Canadian Engineering Grand Challenges (CEGCs) are a call to action that recognize the critical role that engineers play as technological leaders and stewards, and focus the attention of the engineering profession to the pressing responsibility to address these challenges with urgency. Every year, the Douglas Wright Engineer-in-Residence showcases innovative projects from their municipality or region to address the Canadian Engineering Grand Challenges. This year, the Douglas Wright Engineer-in-Residence is Kealy Dedman, Commissioner of Public Works at the Region of Peel. Throughout her tenure in 2022, Kealy has been very engaged with what we do in Civil & Environmental Engineering around the Canadian Engineering Grand Challenges and what we've been able to do with this powerful framework in terms of leadership, awareness and exposure to Canadian cities and communities, and the challenges as well as the opportunities for innovation.
Together with her staff, Kealy led the compilation of Peel Region case studies that address the Canadian Engineering Grand Challenges. This publication serves to provide examples of engineering innovation as they address the following grand challenges: 1) Resilient Infrastructure; 2) Access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy; 3) Access to safe water in all communities; 4) Inclusive, safe, and sustainable cities; 5) Inclusive and safe industrialization; and 6) Access to affordable and inclusive STEM education. The hope is that future Engineers-in-Residence that follow will do the same and produce a publication to showcase the CEGCs from their municipalities and regions.
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is home to the Douglas Wright Engineer-in-Residence who is invited by Nadine Ibrahim, Turkstra Chair in Urban Engineering, for a 1-year term to our campus. “It has been a pleasure working alongside Kealy this past year, and it is what makes the role of the Turkstra Chair and the engagement with municipalities so worthwhile," says Dr. Ibrahim. "Students who take an interest in exploring sustainable cities and communities, and learning about infrastructure in Canadian municipalities find a lot of value from the Engineer-in-Residence program.”