Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC) Steering Committee


McGill University continues to advance in its efforts towards the implementation of the 52 Calls to Action, resulting from the 2017 Provost’s Task Force Report on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education. These Calls are essential to strengthening McGill’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.

As McGill continues to enact its commitment to Reconciliation, it recognizes the importance of learning and respecting the principles and values of Indigenous governance, in a meaningful and effective way.

As such, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives is happy to announce it has begun crucial work towards the establishment of the McGill University Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC). The McGill IAC will provide advice on matters pertaining to Indigenous educational initiatives and guidance on the University’s relationships with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

This initiative stems from Task Force’s Call to Action #51, which calls upon McGill to, “create a formal Indigenous Advisory Board or Indigenous Education Council with a defined mandate, whose composition includes community leaders and stakeholders at McGill.”

Note that this initiative is also linked to Call #22, which calls on McGill to “establish mechanisms that provide Indigenous community representation in central organs of University governance, in particular, the Board of Governors and University Senate, and at central University ceremonies, including convocations”.

The Office of Indigenous Initiatives (OII) is happy to lead this important initiative. To support this work, the OII has partnered with the Indigenous advisory firm First Peoples Group, as well as a Kanién’kehaka advisor on Indigenous governance, Dr. Taiaiake Alfred, of Kahnawà:ke. These advisors, in collaboration with the OII, will play an integral role in ensuring that the approach taken to establish the IAC is inclusive and respectful of the Indigenous communities and Nations on whose traditional territories McGill University resides, and is grounded in Indigenous governance principles.

McGill University recognizes the importance of having Indigenous community leadership, as well as Indigenous community internal to McGill (faculty, staff and students), participate in this process. It is necessary that we listen to, and are informed by, the perspectives of Indigenous community members as we take this significant step, in the spirit of working together and honoring Indigenous governance and leadership in this initiative. The OII is currently holding engagement sessions with Indigenous community leaders to inform the development of the IAC’s Terms of Reference.

Throughout the process of establishing the IAC, the OII is taking care to respect the relationships McGill has with different Indigenous communities and organizations via longstanding academic initiatives at the University and strengthen our partnerships with these groups.

If you are interested in participating in this process, or should you have any questions, please contact us at indigenousinitiatives [at]

McGill University is proud to continue on its journey of Reconciliation through the implementation of the TRC’s Calls to Action, recognizing and honoring Indigenous community members and partners – past, present and future. We look forward to having you join us.

Terms of Reference for the McGill IAC Steering Committee

The Indigenous Advisory Council Steering Committee was formed in October, 2023 to develop the Terms of Reference for McGill University’s inaugural Indigenous Advisory Council. In doing so, the Steering Committee will ensure that the IAC’s Terms of Reference are aligned with the University’s commitments to Truth and Reconciliation and Calls to Action.

The Steering Committee is comprised of a team of Indigenous faculty members, staff and community advisors committed to embodying and employing, in their work and relations with each other and with the wider McGill community, the values of the core cultural teachings of Kah’nikonhri:io (The Good Mind) and the Seven Grandfather Teachings.

The IAC Steering Committee created a Terms of Reference to guide their work in providing strategic advice to the University on the design, development, and implementation of the IAC.

You can find the Terms of Reference for the McGill IAC Steering Committee here: File IAC Terms of Reference

McGill IAC Steering Committee Meeting Summaries

September 13, 2023

October 4, 2023

November 15, 2024

View the meeting summary here: PDF icon Meeting Summary November 15/23

December 6, 2024

View the meeting summary here: PDF icon December 6th IAC Meeting Summary

January 10, 2024

January 31, 2024

February 21, 2024

Meeting summary to follow.

March 13, 2024

Meeting summary to follow.

April 3, 2024

Meeting summary to follow.

April 24, 2024

Meeting summary to follow.

May 15, 2024

Meeting summary to follow. 

Steering Committee Membership

The Steering Committee consists of an entirely Indigenous membership and includes representation from both academia and Indigenous communities. The Steering Committee is chaired by the Associate Provost of Indigenous Initiatives and includes the Senior Advisor, Indigenous Initiatives, two Indigenous students, representatives from the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, and a retired Indigenous faculty member and/or McGill alumni. It has extended invitations for Indigenous representation from across McGill’s Faculties/Schools. Additionally, the Steering Committee involves several Indigenous community advisors with at least one being Kanién’kehaka Kahnawa’kehró:non (Kahnawà:ke Mohawk) and one being Anishinabeg.

External Resources Reviewed

The following external reports are being reviewed and consulted by the IAC Steering Committee:

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