I am delighted to share the University of Waterloo Indigenous Strategic Plan 2023-2028. The purpose of this document is to assist in guiding the University towards its goal of indigenizing and decolonizing the institution.
The University has publicly acknowledged the harm that colonization has caused to Indigenous peoples and committed to meaningful and respectful work towards being an ally to the process of reconciliation, which involves reclaiming Indigenous identity and culture, and decolonization.
I’m pleased that the University of Waterloo is committed to building long-term relationships with Indigenous peoples and communities based in respect and reciprocity.
This strategic plan, created by Indigenous voices and allies from Waterloo and the wider community outlines a clear path for implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action and Indigenous human rights, as articulated in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) within all areas of the University.
We recognize that there is still much to do on our collective journey towards Truth and Reconciliation. We acknowledge that some of these steps are outlined in the recommendations of the President’s Anti-racism Taskforce Report, but there remains much more to be done.
It is our hope that this plan will help us move beyond words and take meaningful direct actions on this journey towards reconciliation.
AVP, Indigenous Relations (Inuk)
In September 2022, the University of Waterloo proudly committed to reconciliation, indigenization and decolonization across the entirety of our institution.
We committed to building long-term relationships with Indigenous Peoples and communities based on respect and reciprocity. As an institution of higher learning, the University of Waterloo has a unique and important role to play in working toward Truth and Reconciliation.
As educators, we have an obligation to teach all of our students and the public the hard truths about our country’s colonial history, and the extensive damage done to the lives, histories, and spirits of Indigenous peoples.
We must also make space and include in our education the celebration of Indigenous identity, culture, and ways of knowing here on our campuses and surrounding community. As an institution, we are responsible for creating a safe environment for our Indigenous community to grow and thrive.
As you will discover in the pages of this Indigenous Relations Strategic Plan, Waterloo is undertaking many initiatives to actualize our commitment, but there is still a long road ahead on our collective journey towards Truth and Reconciliation.
We are all grateful to Jean Becker, associate vice-president, Indigenous Relations and her dedicated team in the Office of Indigenous Relations and across the University for leading and modelling this important work. This is just the beginning, and we have much more work to do to meet our commitments here at Waterloo, in Ontario and Canada as a whole.
I would like to thank the Indigenous Elders and members of Indigenous communities at our campuses for their willingness to work with us and to help us on this journey to better understanding and to achieving Reconciliation.
President and Vice-chancellor