2. Physical Representation and Symbolic Recognition - Completed

18. Hochelaga Rock (immediate term)

The Task Force calls on our University to complete the relocation of the Hochelaga Rock on the lower campus by developing a plan for the landscaping of the new site, which will be developed in consultation with local Indigenous communities. The Hochelaga Rock is an enduring historical marker of Indigenous history and settler-Indigenous people’s interactions on the island of Montreal and its hinterland. The Rock marks the historical ties and use of the land by Indigenous peoples.

Planning will:

  • Specify the design of the site
  • Be linked to larger University plans for the lower campus of McGill
  • Ensure that all aspects of the physical and symbolic elements of the design will respect the perspectives and voices of local Indigenous communities
  • Ensure that the wording of commemorative plaques that mark the site, and recognize its symbolic importance in Indigenous history and presence, as well as the history of settler-Indigenous community relations, is chosen in consultation with local Indigenous communities
  • Establish an Honorary Committee composed of McGill representatives and community knowledge holders and elders who will be tasked with the responsibility of advising on the continuing maintenance of the site

Progress

  • Relocation is complete. It was moved to a more prominent site on the lower campus of McGill in the summer of 2016. The Provost’s Task Force was publicly launched with a ceremony at this site on September 22, 2016. On June 21, 2017, National Aboriginal Day, there was a ceremony at the Hochelaga Rock to mark the submission of the Task Force Final Report on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education.
  • The specific call to action regarding the design of the landscape surrounding the rock was included in the campus Master Plan (2019) by the Campus Planning Development Office. Hochelaga Rock has been identified as a key element of Indigenous representation on campus in line with the Task Force report. Details regarding surrounding landscape design are part of ongoing discussions with the Indigenous community.
  • The surrounding landscape design is part of an ongoing discussion with the Indigenous Community.

Last Updated: 7 November 2022

19. Acknowledgement of Traditional Territory (immediate term)

The Task Force calls on our University to implement a University-wide policy that:

  • Acknowledges the traditional territory on which McGill University is located;
  • Consults directly with Indigenous communities in preparing and articulating this statement; and
  • Establishes and sets out, in a clear and transparent way, when the territory statement is to be used in University activities, events and publications.

The Task Force further recommends that the territory statement articulated by the Joint Board Senate Committee on Equity’s Subcommittee on First Peoples (Subcommittee) be used as the baseline for the development of this policy. The Subcommittee’s statement reads: “We would like to acknowledge that McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabeg nations. McGill honours, recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet today.”

Progress

  • While an official Land Acknowledgement has been adopted, some revisions are currently under consideration through the Indigenous Initiatives unit.

21. Varsity Teams and the McGill Name (immediate term)

The Redmen team name was raised repeatedly in our meetings – in Open Forums held on the downtown and Macdonald campuses, in meetings with Indigenous students, faculty and staff, and in discussions with a wide range of other members of the McGill community.  Our community questioned seriously the credibility of the University’s efforts in relation to Indigeneity given the pejorative connotation of our men’s varsity team name.

With a view to positioning McGill as a leader in post-TRC Canada, and in view of perspectives shared within the McGill community, the Task Force calls on our University to begin a process of consultation inside McGill, and with other relevant external organizations and communities, with the goal of renaming McGill male varsity teams. This consultation should engage all parts of the McGill community, communicate the community-building value of selecting a new team name, and recognize the contributions of student-athletes, past and present, to the University. The consultation will be guided 11 by the pressing importance for the future of moving forward under a McGill team name that breaks with the associations that ‘Redmen’ evokes in contemporary society.  

Progress

  • The men's varsity team name was officially changed on 12 April 2019.
Back to top