Provost's Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education

Broad objectives

As a national and global academic leader, McGill has a crucial role to play in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s Calls to Action. More precisely, McGill will heed the call of the TRC by engaging and collaborating with Indigenous communities to identify, explore and advance ideas, initiatives and plans that will embed Indigeneity in the life and activities of the University while seeking to enhance the presence and success of Indigenous students, faculty and staff at McGill. To this end, the Provost’s Task Force on Indigenous Studies and Indigenous Education will be animated by two core themes: recognition of Indigenous history, contemporary presence, and ways of knowing and learning; and reconciliation by heeding the TRC’s calls to action, specifically through educational and institutional efforts aimed at redressing historical legacies of injustice and restoring relationships with Indigenous peoples.

Specific objectives

The Task Force will explore 5 main questions:

  • How can McGill develop more robust physical representation and symbolic recognition of Indigenous history and presence, and of our University’s commitment to engage with, welcome and support Indigenous students, faculty, staff and community members on our campus? 
  • How can McGill encourage and facilitate Indigenous student access to McGill at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and how can McGill best enrich the experiences of Indigenous students who enrol at our University? 
  • How can McGill more effectively recruit and cultivate the success of staff members who are Indigenous, both among its academic complement and its administrative and support staff?
  • How can McGill incorporate Indigenous perspectives, histories, issues, pedagogies and methodologies within its curricular and research missions?
  • How can McGill build on its strengths in research to achieve the goals of recognition and reconciliation in its relations with Indigenous peoples and communities?

For each of these questions, the Task Force will identify:

  • Specific, concrete recommendations for engagement, action, and innovation.
  • A timeline for implementation with immediate- (within 2 years), medium- (2-5 years) and long- (5 years or more) term objectives and deliverables. 
  • Potential barriers to implementation and modes of surmounting these.


Methodology and Timeline

In developing its findings and recommendations, the Task Force shall be guided by:

Values, objectives, ideas, concerns and experiences (VOICEs) encountered through broad consultation
The Principal's Priorities 
The TRC’s Calls to Action
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The Task Force Co-Chairs may convene Working Groups to address any or all of the 5 main questions. Where Working Groups are convened they should be broadly representative of the University community and related stakeholders.

The Task Force (and any working Groups) will be broadly consultative in its efforts. Indigenous communities will be essential to the work of the Task Force and will engage with and advise the Task Force on all aspects of its mandate throughout its term. Furthermore, the Task Force will consult with academic and administrative units, students, researchers, teachers, staff and alumni as and where appropriate. It will hold regular consultations both on campus and within Indigenous communities or with Indigenous organizations (e.g., Native Friendship Centre of Montreal), and will provide a forum for virtual or online feedback.

The Task Force will submit a preliminary progress report in January 2017, with a final report on its findings and recommendations by 1 June 2017, with its report made publicly available on its final submission.



Ms. Paige Isaac, Coordinator, First Peoples’ House

Prof. Hudson Meadwell, Chair, Department of Political Science

Prof. Angela Campbell, Associate Provost, Policies, Procedures and Equity

Task Force Members                                   

Mr. Ray Aldred, PhD Candidate, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts          

Ms. Jessica Barudin, Indigenous Health Professional Training Project Manager, Faculty of Medicine

Mr. Kakwiranó:ron Cook, Aboriginal Outreach Administrator, Office of the Dean of Students

Prof. Ollivier Dyens, Deputy Provost, Student Life and Learning

Mr. Jim Howden, Director, Office of First Nations and Inuit Education

Ms. Kathleen Massey, Registrar and Executive Director, Enrolment Services

Prof. Catherine Potvin, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science

Mr. Christian Quequish, SSMU Indigenous Affairs Coordinator 

Dr. Carmen Sicilia, Associate Dean (Academic), School of Continuing Studies

Mr. Allan Vicaire, Indigenous Education Advisor, Social Equity and Diversity Education Office

Advisors at Large          

Mr. Patrick Brennan, Executive Director, Institute for the Study of International Development

Prof. Allan Downey, Department of History, Faculty of Arts

Ms. Lee Maracle, Elder in Residence & Instructor, University of Toronto

Mr. Robin McLay, Senior Advisor, The Mastercard Foundation

Tewakierakwa Louise McDonald, Bear Clan Mother

Dr. Kathryn Muller, University Advancement

Dr. Tim Raybould, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (Professor of Practice)

Ms. Anita Tenasco, Director of Education, Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg

Dr. Leigh Yetter, Senior Director, Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)

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