What does Reconciliation mean to you personally and as Dean of a faculty and the discipline(s) it represents?
Personally, Reconciliation acknowledges that there is a need for reparation and for me, it is a very positive statement. It does not put a band aid over wounds, it acknowledges that healing is needed, and it holds us accountable for advancing that healing. As the Dean of a Faculty, and especially a faculty of management, it is very important for me to acknowledge that there are communities within Canada and globally that have been disadvantaged and harmed. Reconciliation provides us with an opportunity to admit this, to acknowledge the harm and to actively take steps to address and correct it and to do good.
What do you think is needed for Reconciliation to succeed?
The harm that the Reconciliation addresses has been done over many centuries. We, as a community and as individuals, and as business schools and universities, must commit to a long process that involves many stakeholders with many different interests that will move us in the right direction over time. There needs to be transparency, there needs to be commitment and there needs to be the prioritization of those who have been harmed. Their voices, their input, their needs must always be at the center.
Reconciliation has to go beyond talk; we cannot be performative. We have to match our best intentions and our talk with actions. Events like the one we have planned at the Desautels Faculty of Management, to honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation are key, where we take steps to address the harm.
For Reconciliation to succeed, we need dedicated resources and dedicated, determined leadership. At the Desautels Faculty of Management, we are privileged to have Professor Lisa Cohen, who is fulfilling this role as Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
What is your personal pledge of action(s) to take part in that process of Reconciliation?
My personal pledge of action in the process of Reconciliation is to, as an individual, consciously work toward reparation and Reconciliation by the allocation of my time and my energy, and my both short and long-term contributions. As the Dean of the Desautels Faculty of Management, my personal pledge is to ensure that our faculty, staff and students are aware of the history, of the need for Reconciliation and are firmly encouraged and empowered to be part of the reconciliation process.
Dean, Desautels Faculty of Management