June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day — a day for all Canadians to celebrate the heritage, diversity and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. At the same time, we must recognize the systemic racism, violence and institutional barriers that Indigenous peoples continue to face; hold space for the grief and anger many community members are feeling at this difficult time; and examine how institutions like ours can and must bring about tangible change. As a college and as members of the broader community, we must learn about our responsibilities under the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and take meaningful action towards reconciliation.
Reconciliation is a strategic planning priority
As we look towards the future at George Brown, we have made Reconciliation a priority in our strategic planning. We engaged in a consultation process last year to examine how we’re entrenching the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action into our culture and curriculum. We also signed the Indigenous Education Protocol, and became the first college to endorse the Dimensions Charter — a statement of principles for institutions working to eliminate systemic barriers to achievement for Indigenous and racialized peoples. In addition, we continue to be guided by our long-standing Sahkitcheway Indigenous Education Council, which works to ensure that Indigenous world views, needs and issues influence college decision-making.
Since receiving the consultant’s report last November, we’ve taken several steps forward with the creation of an enhanced Indigenous Student Centre at our Casa Loma Campus, and our commitment to creating a new Director of Indigenous Initiatives position to oversee college-wide strategies. We know there is much more work to be done to eliminate systemic barriers and to promote a fair and inclusive community in which to study, work and live. This work will continue in the months ahead, as we move forward with the recommendations laid out in the consultant’s report, work to enhance our institutional focus on anti-racism and Indigenous issues, and strengthen our support for Indigenous and racialized peoples in our community.
Learn about the Indigenous community at George Brown
George Brown College is located on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, who presently share a Treaty relationship with Canada, as well as the Indigenous Nations who have lived on the land before them. George Brown College is home to a vibrant community of Indigenous students, alumni and employees – and we’re committed to supporting the success and well-being of this community. We encourage you to learn about the important work of the Indigenous Education and Services team.
Watch a new series of videos from George Brown’s Knowledge and Wisdom Keeper, Pauline Shirt.