ISCEI is funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is designed to increase resources for Indigenous students, faculty, and staff on campus, as well as to support the growth and development of the Indigenous Studies Program. ISCEI is housed in the Faculty of Arts and aims to serve as a nexus for Indigenous scholarship and community-building, and to generate new, cross-University synergies and community partnerships in areas where we can have the greatest impact. 

ISCEI responds to Calls to Action from the McGill Provost's Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education, which in turn seeks to address Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  


In 2015, Provost and Vice-Principal Christopher Manfredi convened a Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education, with the goal of identifying steps McGill must take to further the goal of reconciliation, and to prioritize Indigenous learning on campus. In 2017, the Task Force identified a series of Calls to Action that would support and build Indigenous initiatives at McGill and in the wider community.

The Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative (ISCEI) was created to aid in the development of some of the initiatives called for by the Task Force, especially in relation to the Faculty of Arts. These include language revitalization and documentation initiatives (Call to Action #34), the creation of a free-standing academic unit to house the Indigenous Studies Program (Call to Action #32), an Elder-in-Residence program (Call to Action #24), and Artist-in-Residence programs (Call to Action #25). We are committed to working with and supporting Indigenous students, Faculty, and staff at McGill University, as well as projects with Indigenous communities in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal) and beyond.

You can find more information about the TRC Calls to Action and ongoing progress updates on McGill's Indigenous Portal Website.

ISCEI aims to support the growth and development of Indigenous language programming, course offerings, and partnerships with local Indigenous communities and other units and initiatives at McGill already engaged in supporting Indigenous language work. This initiative builds on the 2018 McGill Symposium on the Role of the University in Supporting Indigenous Languages, which reinforced the understanding that while communities are the primary places where Indigenous languages are taught, universities can play an important role in supporting community-led efforts.

Please check back for future updates on Indigenous language programming, and see the links below for current Indigenous language resources and programs at McGill:

Course offerings in the Indigenous Studies Program

Ad Hoc MA in Indigenous Language Revitalization

OFNIE Certificate in Indigenous Language and Literacy Education


The Mellon Internal Advisory Committee is composed of various stakeholders across campus and comprises of staff, faculty and students. Members of the committee bring their unique knowledge and experience from their roles in the University to provide advice, perspectives, updates and recommendations for upcoming initiatives, projects and events. The advisory committee also has a sub-committee to discuss and review funding applications from our Travel Fund and Community Engagement Fund.



2021-2022 Mellon Internal Advisory Committee


Hudson Meadwell Director of ISCEI (on Leave)
Vanessa Racine Administrative Coordinator, ISCEI
Terry Young Program Manager, ISCEI
Yann Allard-Tremblay Indigenous Faculty Representative
Noelani Arista Director of Indigenous Studies Program
Tabitha Sparks Dean of Arts Representative
  Indigenous Initiatives Office
Thomasina Phillips First People's House Representative
Alex Allard-Gray Indigenous Health Professions Program Representative
Aneeka Anderson Indigenous Student Alliance Representative
Brittany Wenniserí:iostha Jock School of Human Nutrition Representative 



Mellon Foundation Logo

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Taskforce Logo

Responding to TRC & Task Force 

Beadwork by Catie Galbraith, 3rd Year, Chickasaw, ISCEI Logo

ISCEI: What We Do

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