Bill Flanagan

Bill Flanagan, President and Vice-Chancellor

Message from the President and Vice⁠-⁠Chancellor

As the Territorial Acknowledgment reminds us, the University of Alberta is situated on territory that has been the gathering place of diverse Indigenous nations for thousands of years, a place where diverse peoples, thinkers, scientists, philosophers lived and came to share and exchange knowledge. 

The university is privileged to reside on lands in Treaties 6, 7 and 8. In the spirit of these agreements, the university upholds its commitment to working and living in good relation with each other, respecting the Indigenous Peoples and nations who, through the treaty process, generously offered to share these lands with those who came to these lands from far away.

In recent years, and especially following the work begun by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), a shift in public awareness has illuminated the urgent need to address the structural causes of the long-standing and pronounced inequalities faced by Indigenous Peoples today.

We recognize that the University of Alberta has been part of historic systems that have created barriers to Indigenous sovereignty and wellness. In addressing this history, the University of Alberta

has taken steps towards a thoughtful, respectful, meaningful and sustainable response to the Calls to Action issued by the TRC and Indigenous Initiatives more broadly. The Calls to Action are embedded in our institutional strategic plan and are a key pillar of the University of Alberta for Tomorrow.

The Indigenous Programming and Research portfolio was established in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) to facilitate Indigenous-led institutional collaboration and communication for

the development and implementation of programs, services and initiatives related to Indigenous teaching, learning, research and community engagement.

I want to thank Dr. Florence Glanfield, Vice-Provost, Indigenous Programming and Research for her leadership on this plan and also the members of the

Indigenous Advisory Council and broader Indigenous community who crafted this road map.

The Braiding Past, Present and Future: University of Alberta Indigenous Strategic Plan will enable transformative institutional practices that tackle the full scope of these endeavours. Reconciliation is

not a destination but a journey in which we all have a part to play. Every step is important in that journey. At its core, the plan is about building better relationships with Indigenous communities — equal, respectful, mutual.

The university’s core mission, in teaching, learning and research, is a commitment to all of the people of this province. It is also a commitment to build and sustain an atmosphere in which, as President Henry Marshall Tory, the first president of the university described it, “prejudice and hatred” cannot live — that is, a university that is committed to the core values of equity, diversity and inclusion of all the peoples and communities that make up our remarkable university and beyond.

I encourage everyone to read this plan and consider the ways in which you can meaningfully engage in reconciliation.

Bill Flanagan

President and Vice-Chancellor