Statement from President Gabriel Miller on National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21, 2024
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Photo of Gabriel Miller / Photo de Gabriel Miller

OTTAWA—This National Indigenous Peoples Day, Universities Canada honours and acknowledges the great achievements and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples who have lived on this land since time immemorial.  

At Universities Canada, we firmly believe education is the cornerstone of reconciliation. We are committed to creating respectful partnerships with Indigenous communities, breaking down educational barriers faced by Indigenous students, providing equitable employment opportunities for Indigenous faculty and staff and centering the needs of Indigenous Peoples in teaching and research.  

In 2023, Canada’s universities reaffirmed their dedication to this work by adopting new Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation. These commitments guide and support the work of universities in actualizing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, shaping everything from university governance and strategic planning to teaching and research.  

Realizing these commitments is an ongoing effort, and the annual Building Reconciliation Forum plays a vital role. The Forum is a yearly event that brings together university community members, Indigenous faculty and community leaders, government decision-makers, researchers and students to engage in meaningful discourse and make lasting progress towards truth and reconciliation in higher education. This year’s event will be held in a few days at Laurentian University’s Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre; I am looking forward to many fruitful discussions. 

Universities Canada continues to advocate to the federal government for necessary support for Indigenous education and truth and reconciliation efforts. We work in collaboration with Indigenous communities, students and organizations—including the Assembly of First Nations, Indspire and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami—to help communicate community needs and obtain necessary government supports. 

Universities Canada’s work in advancing reconciliation continues to be a top priority for our organization and our institutions. The contributions of Indigenous Peoples within academia, in individual communities and across Canada are vast, varied and deserve recognition and support not just on National Indigenous Peoples Day, but every day. 

Gabriel Miller
President & CEO, Universities Canada

About Universities Canada
Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.

Media contact:

Lisa Wallace
Assistant Director, Communications
Universities Canada
[email protected]

Tagged:  Equity, diversity and inclusion

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