Working Group on Indigeneity in Infrastructure Planning and Development (WGIIPD)



Kakwiranó:ron Cook Special Advisor, Indigenous Initiatives, Office of the Provost and Vice- Principal (Academic)

Dicki Chhoyang, Stakeholder Relations, Campus Planning & Development Office

David Covo Professor, School of Architecture

Patricia Deer Graduate student, McGill School of Urban Planning

Adam Finkelstein Associate Director, Teaching and Learning Services

Maxime Gagnon Senior Campus Planner, Campus Planning & Development Office

Stéphanie Leclerc Manager, Procurement Services

Lorraine Mercier Director, Design Services, Facilities Management and Ancillary Services

Susan Murley Senior Director, Integrated Strategy and Planning, Office of the Vice-Principal – Communications and External Relations

Gwendolyn Owens Director, Curatorial Affairs, McGill Visual Arts Collection Assistant

Terms of Reference

The 2017 Final Report of the Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education presented the University with 52 calls to action, among which were 11 that addressed physical representation and symbolic recognition on campus. In particular, the Task Force called on the University “to ensure that McGill’s public spaces reflect McGill’s commitment to Indigenous education through the display of Indigenous art and culture on our two campuses,” and to “ensure that the provision of space dedicated to Indigenous persons and groups is integrated into all aspects of University planning, including plans for the Royal Victoria Hospital site.”

The 2019 McGill Master Plan likewise addressed the need and opportunity to include Indigenous representation on the University’s campuses: “Specifically, the plan seeks to recognize and respect the specific and diverse cultural practices of Indigenous members of the community by providing interior and exterior spaces that serve their needs.”

The Working Group is tasked with formulation of guiding principles and best practices to address these imperatives in the context of the large-scale campus development and re-development activities that will take place over the coming years. Such recommendations should reflect feasibility in terms of implementation, and long-term sustainability. Areas of focus include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • mechanisms for ensuring the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives across planning processes;
  • criteria for identifying opportunities for Indigenous representation in the design, use and naming of physical spaces;
  • means of engaging Indigenous communities and service providers in campus planning.

In fulfilling this mandate, the Working Group will consult broadly across the University community and will also engage local Indigenous communities and draw from the experiences and knowledge in this regard of peer institutions across North America. The Working Group will be guided in its task by the Final Report of the Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education, the McGill Master Plan, the Final Report of the Working Group on Principles of Commemoration and Renaming, the Final Report of the Principal’s Task Force on Respect and Inclusion, and the International Indigenous Design Charter.

The Working Group will submit its final report to the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) and the Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance) by 31 March 2021.

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