Indigenous History Month

A collection from the Indigenous community

A message from Jean Becker (Inuk), Associate Vice President, Office of Indigenous Relations

Jean Becker

“The month of June is National Indigenous History Month. National Indigenous People’s Day takes place on June 21, also known to many as the summer solstice.

It is the shared responsibility of all peoples on this land to acknowledge the historic and ongoing colonial relationship with the First Nations, Inuit and Metis Nations, who make up the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and actively work towards truth, reconciliation and decolonization.

It is equally important that we make space for the celebration of varied historic achievements of Indigenous Peoples, as well as current contributions on UWaterloo’s campuses and further afield. National Indigenous History Month is a time for celebration, gratitude and knowledge-building around the diversity, rich history and experiences of Indigenous Peoples and communities.

I am pleased that the University of Waterloo is committed to building long-term relationships with Indigenous Peoples based on respect and reciprocity.  We are delighted to share the University of Waterloo Indigenous Strategic Plan 2023-2028, which guides the University towards its goal of indigenizing and decolonizing the institution. The plan outlines a clear path for the University to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, as well as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

This June, we also have an exciting range of events planned in honour of National Indigenous History Month, which you can learn more about below. It is our hope this month and every month that we move beyond words and take meaningful and direct actions on this shared journey towards reconciliation and decolonization.

Our stories

Read about our students, researchers and alumni who are making a difference.

People gathering at the Eagle Staff Ceremony

Waterloo welcomes an Eagle Staff

An important symbol of Indigenous acknowledgement, the Eagle Staff will serve as a beacon of reconciliation

A collage of four professor's headshots

Welcoming more Black and Indigenous excellence

The Faculty of Arts introduces four new faculty members

Two students working together in a library

Supporting Indigenous studies and research at Waterloo

Circle donors help support grassroots initiatives like the Indigenous Research Guide, a project aimed at advancing Indigenous studies and research on campus.


A new wave in recognizing the Ocean’s vital role

Acknowledging the Ocean as a living being is increasingly important for planetary well-being and global sustainability

Elder Henry walking with Vivek Goel and others wearing orange shirts

Truth and Reconciliation: A call for action

Working to implement Indigenization on campus


Indigenous students rock their mocs

WISC is building community and connection to Indigenous traditions

Concept for Indigenous People's Space in Ottawa

An Indigenous sense of place

Honouring an Indigenous relationship to land requires a lot more than eco-friendly building materials

Elder Bill Woodworth, Elder Myeengun Henry and Vivek Goel stand in front of a blanket with traditional Indigenous gift

Affirming Waterloo's commitment to decolonization, Indigenization and reconciliation

President Goel reflects on the Commitment Ceremony that took place on September 22

Earrings in the shape of a flower with pearls and beadwork

Q and A with the experts: The role of Indigenous women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge

Waterloo historian and anthropologist explains how the importance of women in the community is inextricably tied to the land

Bringing the acknowledgement, celebration and awareness to campus not only makes space for Indigenous people to be seen and included, it equips everyone with the education and tools needed to create a knowledge driven and inclusive community.


Robin Stadelbauer

Indigenous funds to support

Indigenous Student Success Fund       

Provides financial assistance to Indigenous students experiencing financial hardship. The fund addresses a range of needs including emergency housing-related expenses, rental payment, funding security, and education enrichment. 

Indigenous Opportunities Fund        

Supports programming needs of the Office of Indigenous Relations. Under the direction of Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Relations, this unrestricted fund allows the office to fund urgent projects that may arise. 

Faculty of Arts Indigenous Initiatives Fund

Supports and promotes Indigenous Initiatives, and makes Indigenous histories and cultures more visible on campus through Indigenous-led programs, activities and events, including the annual Indigenous Speakers Series which highlights the voices of Indigenous artists, writers, activists, scholars and leaders from across Turtle Island.

Longhouse Labs Capital Fund    

The Longhouse Labs will provide emerging Indigenous visual artists with residencies and exhibition opportunities at Waterloo. Creating appropriate, dedicated and resourced space is a critical first step in supporting the experience of the artists.

Black and Indigenous Students Engineering Outreach Program  

Supports racialized youth in Grades 1 to 12 through programs and activities, and provides bursaries and/or scholarships. 

Engineering Equity Fund 

Supports activities related to diversity initiatives, including programming, outreach, research and awards.                                    

Note: The Office of Indigenous Relations manages a list of awards available for Indigenous Students