From the President's Desk: Celebrating Indigenous History Month

Looking forward to the launch of the U of A's first Indigenous Strategic Plan.


This year’s Indigenous History Month will mark a significant step forward for the University of Alberta. On June 24, we will formally launch Braiding Past, Present and Future: University of Alberta Indigenous Strategic Plan. Led by Florence Glanfield, Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming and Research), in collaboration with Indigenous faculty and staff across the university, this plan gives us an ambitious vision for the meaningful inclusion of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous Ways of Knowing in all we do as a university community. It builds on work begun by the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) and the U of A’s commitment to developing a thoughtful, respectful, meaningful and sustainable response to its Calls to Action in For the Public Good.

Growing up in Alberta, it was evident to me the long and troubled history of the colonization and exclusion of the Indigenous peoples of these lands. Universities, along with other public institutions, have played a role in this history. We all must commit to changing this legacy. While I am proud of the recent record of the University of Alberta’s broad commitment to advancing truth and reconciliation, there is much more work to be done.

Our new Indigenous Strategic Plan lays out the next stage in building and sustaining respectful and mutual relationships with Indigenous communities and knowledge keepers. It will support the participation of Indigenous faculty, staff and students in the university's offerings and make space for Indigenous Ways of Knowing, the Indigenization of curricula and research. The plan will help us hold ourselves accountable to the goals we’ve set together.

Meeting the goals of the plan will require a collective, collaborative effort. As we enter into this month’s annual celebration of Indigenous histories and cultures, I ask that all members of the university community join me in committing to do all we can to advance the goals of Braiding Past, Present and Future and ever deepen our commitment to engaging in a meaningful and respectful relationship with the Indigenous peoples of these lands.

Bill Flanagan
President and Vice-chancellor