Thank you for visiting the Office of Indigenous Relations. We work collaboratively on and off-campus to advance the goals of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, creating a long-term vision for the University, grounded in decolonization. Explore this website to learn more about our work and the ongoing Indigenous relations at UWaterloo. Connect with us at https://linktr.ee/uwaterlooindigenous
University of Waterloo Territorial Acknowledgement
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.
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University of Waterloo Indigenous Commitment Ceremony
Eagle Staff Ceremony
The University of Waterloo is honoured to welcome an Eagle Staff to our institution. Indigenous Knowledge Keeper Myeengun Henry will introduce this sacred item, on behalf of the UWaterloo Indigenous campus community.
An Eagle Staff is an important element of the Indigenous relationship to mother earth and those that have protected it. The Staff reflects the wisdom, strength, and honour of those that carry it in representation of Nations across Turtle Island.
This Eagle Staff will be present at ceremonies and celebrations, such as convocation, representing University of Waterloo First Nations, Métis and Inuit community members, their traditions, cultures, and strengths.
Through the introduction of the Eagle Staff, the University of Waterloo honours the responsibility to take on Indigenous perspectives, ensuring that they are reflected in the governance, structure, and intent of the University. A symbol of Indigenous acknowledgement, the Eagle Staff will serve as a beacon of reconciliation throughout our shared future.
Location: Federation Hall
Date: Monday, March 27, 2023
Time: 10:00 a.m.
A sunrise ceremony will take place at 7:00 a.m. outside of Federation Hall
The entire university community is invited to participate in this meaningful ceremony as we welcome the Eagle Staff.
The ceremony is expected to take up to 90 minutes, including an opportunity for refreshments and community building.
To register, please visit:
Welcome to the Team!
We are excited to introduce Jen Smerdon who joined the Office of Indigenous Relations February 6th as Administrative Manager. Jen is of mixed ancestry with maternal Anishinaabe lineage from Matachewan First Nation in Ontario. Jen brings a wealth of administrative experience, financial management skills and knowledge of university systems to the team gained from her work experience in the not-for-profit sector, and her previous role as Advancement Coordinator, Faculty of Science. Please join us in welcoming Jen to the Office of Indigenous Relations team!
Eagle Feather Raised at UWaterloo Basketball Game
It was a powerful moment at the PAC on Carl Totzke Court, on January 27, 2023 as Indigenous Knowledge Keeper Myeengun Henry led UWaterloo's first ever Eagle Feather Raising Ceremony between the women's and men's basketball games. The ceremony was an act of reconciliation, honoring Indigenous athletes. The eagle feather was raised just prior to the singing of the National Anthem, and was accompanied by an honor song intended to honor the athletes. Myeengun Henry remarked, "raising this eagle feather gives Indigenous athletes the opportunity to be proud of what they do." By representing Indigenous cultures in tandem with the National Anthem, the ceremony signified a path forward where the original relationship between Indigenous folks and settlers is represented and respected. Chi miigwech/ Nia:wen to all that participated. It was truly moving.
Introducing CTE's Indigenous Knowledges and Anti-Racism team
In November 2021, CTE hired Leslie Wexler as a Senior Educational Developer in Indigenous Knowledges and Anti-Racist (IKAR) Pedagogies, followed some months later by Nahannee Schuitemaker, Madison Hill, and Jessica Rumboldt who work in more specific areas of IKAR. Having now settled into their individual positions and developed into a distinct five-person team, which includes Savannah Sloat, Manager of Indigenous Initiatives in the Faculty of Science, we asked each of them to share their role, current area of focus, and vision for the future of IKAR at Waterloo.