Past Equity Projects at McGill

SEDE have grown a lot order to provide a diverse portfolio of programs and training, which you can find by exploring the rest of the website. Below you will find a few examples of past initiatives:

Employment Equity

Employment Equity policies seek to achieve equality and fairness in the workplace so that persons who belong to historically disadvantaged groups are not denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to ability due to systemic barriers. The principle behind Employment Equity is more than just treating everyone in the same way, but requires special measures and the accommodation of differences.

The SEDE office is pleased to offer your Search Committee, Unit, or Department training designed to help you run an effective search and hire an excellent candidate, all while using an equity lens.  Please contact SEDE's Equity Advisors to arrange an training.

McGill's position on Employment Equity:

"The University is committed to achieving and maintaining a fair and representative workforce and will initiate employment equity measures to ensure the full participation and advancement at all levels of employment of groups which have traditionally been under-represented. These employment equity measures will include the identification and removal of any discriminatory barriers to the selection, hiring, promotion and training of members of the under-represented groups. Special measures and reasonable accommodations will be implemented, as necessary, to enable members of these groups to compete with others on an equal basis.

For more information, please refer to our Fact Sheet on Employment Equity.

Hochelaga Rock


Traditional territories were situated on the island of Montreal, known in Mohawk as Tiohtiá:ke — "where the People split or parted ways."

Evidence of Mohawk Territory

At the left of the Roddick Gates stands the Hochelaga Rock, established by Parks Canada to commemorate the Iroquois settlement that stood on the very land that McGill sits on today.

Hochelaga RockIn 1860, as workmen were busy gathering fill for construction sites at the corner of Metcalfe and Burnside, currently known as de Maisonneuve, they began finding unusual objects. As they dug, the men discovered fragments of human and animal remains, ash and charcoal from cooking fires, soil stains made by large wooden house posts and broken pottery. These discoveries were brought to the attention of Sir John William Dawson, a distinguished geologist and principal of McGill, which led him to believe that they had uncovered traces of Hochelaga, the Iroquoian village visited by Jacques Cartier in 1535.

Source: The Dawson Archaeological Site: An Overview by Moira T. McCaffrey and Bruce Jamieson


Excerpt from Kaniatarowanenneh, River of the Iroquois

The Aboriginal History of the St. Lawrence River

By Darren Bonaparte

“The region’s first European explorers encountered the “St. Lawrence Iroquoians” as they made their way up the mighty St. Lawrence. Jacques Cartier visited two major settlements of these "St. Lawrence Iroquoians" at what is now Quebec City and Montreal in 1535. His observations tell us a great deal about these people. Like their cultural cousins, the Huron and Iroquois, they lived in bark longhouses surrounded by multiple rows of palisades and extensive gardens.

When Samuel de Champlain came to the area in 1603, the great villages that Cartier visited were gone. The mystery of what happened to these people has puzzled historians, archaeologists, linguists, and anthropologists for generations. The latest theories suggest they were absorbed by the Hurons, as either captives or as refugees, although there is evidence that a few of them ended up among the Iroquois, particularly in Mohawk country.”

Read the whole story here.


Find out more about SEDE's Indigenous Education program.


Preferred First Name

Students may use a Preferred First Name while studying at McGill.

Your preferred first name is the name by which you are normally addressed, and can be different than your legal first name.

Since 2009, students at McGill have been able to use their preferred first name for certain purposes while studying at McGill.  For more information on using your preferred first name, please visit McGill's Student Records website.

Please note that the preferred first name procedure will not change your name on all McGill internal documents. Some students may wish to request additional accommodations in order to use their preferred first name more broadly.  The FAQ on the Student Records website (linked above) has a helpful FAQ to help you navigate this.


Traditional Territories

The Significance of Acknowledging Traditional Territory

A connection to the land is inextricably linked to Indigenous identity. Historically, the cultural protocol of acknowledging traditional territory symbolizes the importance of place and identity for Indigenous peoples. Within many Indigenous communities, protocol requires that individuals situate themselves, and their relationships to the people and the land. For many Indigenous peoples in Canada, and increasingly in broader Canadian society, traditional territory acknowledgements are an important cultural protocol practiced at ceremonial events as a way to acknowledge and honour Indigenous peoples’ connections to their ancestral lands.

Role of the Institution

Many post-secondary institutions across Canada have adopted policies that institutionalize the acknowledgement of the traditional territory at major events, such as convocations, new student, staff and faculty orientations, and award ceremonies.

Acknowledging the traditional territory ensures:

  • Recognition is given to the land’s history in order to strengthen and cultivate relationships with the local Indigenous communities;
  • The institution’s community is exposed to and educated about Indigenous histories, cultures, and identities;
  • A welcoming space for Indigenous students, staff and faculty.

For more information on how your club/organization can recognize the traditional territory, contact our Indigenous Education Advisor janelle.kasperski [at] (Janelle Kasperski).

Public Awareness Strategy

“Public Education is for Everyone” (or Edu4All) is one way that SEDE is contributing to decreasing barriers and increasing inclusion at McGill.  The themes and topics we address in this campaign are taken from research, lived experience, and real challenges we face at McGill.  Our goals are simple:

  1. Demystify the concepts and language of social equity and diversity.

  2. Share knowledge and make the learning tools and programs available at SEDE more accessible to folks at both of McGill’s campuses, and to our friends and community.

  3. Create more opportunities to learn about and engage with issues of equity and diversity.

This year, we are providing more learning tools online, sharing more of our work across both campuses, and creating more opportunities for you to get in on the conversation. Check out the Edu4All website for videos, key terms, posters, and other ways to learn and get involved!

CEGEP Mentoring Program for Education/DISE Graduate Students


Do you want to help youth discover their potential while actively exploring Education career options and possibly earning an internship opportunity?

Centennial College in partnership with McGill University’s Social Equity and Diversity Education Office (SEDE), is running a mentorship program for newly admitted CEGEP (Quebec’s pre-university stream) students (aged 16-18). The program is part of a mandatory course offered at Centennial College called Identity and Learning in Quebec Society, created to provide students with an opportunity to explore their personal, educational and professional goals within Quebec. This program is run in English.

Program Objectives:

Classes will explore specific learning strategies that target the understanding of effective research, writing academic papers, implementing time-management techniques and developing study skills. In addition, students will explore how they can integrate into Quebec Society both personally and professionally by understanding the unique historical, socioeconomic and cultural characteristics of the province.

Mentees’ participation in the program will complement the Identity and Learning in Quebec Society course: a mandatory course taken by all students enrolled in the Commerce/Science Bridge program at Centennial College. The program will ran from August 29th  to December 9th, 2016.

Hidden Gems

Hidden Gems is an intergenerational project that aims to close the intergenerational gap through story-telling, oral history and play-writing. Our students are matched with a local elder in the Montreal community, whom they then interview. Based on these interviews and stories, students write, record, produce and broadcast a radio play on CKUT 90.3 FM. Hidden Gems is an opportunity for students to learn about issues facing older generations, to find value in personal stories and to understand and express themes capable of transcending generations.

Hidden Gems is currently suspended due to a lack of resources. If you would like to help us identify funding options or can help us offer this project as part of a McGill course, please contact anurag.dhir [at] (Anurag Dhir).


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