The fund will provide $100,000 over three years starting January 1, 2018 for these activities, and has been secured through donations from various external sources.
“It’s important for the college to focus on developing our knowledge-base and understanding, and competencies related to Indigenous cultures,” said dean and professor Kishor Wasan. “Our students will one day provide health care to a diverse population, and it’s critical all our students and future graduates can do so in a respectful and culturally sensitive manner.”
According to the fund’s terms of reference, two possible activities supported by this fund could include a promotional campaign to increase the number of Indigenous students in the college and to increase the cultural competency, capacity, and confidence of faculty, staff, and students.
While these activities are recommended in the terms of reference, other initiatives are not excluded from being supported by the fund.
“Recommendations for initiatives to support will come from a number of different stakeholders,” continued Wasan. “We’re presented with a significant learning opportunity for everyone involved in the activities supported by this fund.”
Indigenous initiatives on campus are being prioritized as the university-wide integrated planning process continues at the university and college levels. Indigenization and reconciliation are emphasized in the university’s vision, values, principles, commitments, and aspirations. These foundational statements provide a framework for constructive and meaningful engagement processes to occur between the university and Indigenous peoples.
“I’m very excited about the initiatives and opportunities that the Indigenous Activity Fund will support and present for the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition,” said Jacqueline Ottmann, Vice-Provost Indigenous Engagement. “Increasing the Indigenous student population, supporting faculty’s professional learning of Indigenous knowledges, traditions and practices begins with clear intention and goals, and the college is demonstrating this.”
A committee led by Yvonne Shevchuk, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, will be appointed to administer the fund and will convene in early 2018.