As the largest Faculty in one of Canada’s leading universities, A&S has a central role to play in answering the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). In order to effectively address the legacy of residential schools, A&S must become a place where Indigenous language and culture is transmitted, not denied.
Representing an important step forward, the Working Group on Indigenous Teaching & Learning (ITL) was established by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science (A&S), David Cameron in the summer of 2016. Through in-depth discussions and facilitated activities over the 2016-2017 year, the Working Group developed 18 Calls to Action outlined in this document under the seven key themes.
As co-chairs, Heidi Bohaker and Audrey will discuss a major recommendation from the report -that the University build a new Indigenous College – along with the vision that emerged from our working group discussions, the collaborations and consultations that will be necessary to make it happen, and what a new college could mean for the University.
Heidi Bohaker is a settler born in the Great Lakes region and the descendant of settlers who originated in what are now the countries of the United Kingdom, Germany and Poland. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of History teaching and researching Canadian history with a focus on Indigenous-Crown treaty relationships, federal government policies toward indigenous peoples in Canada, and digital history. Her interest in digital archives has led to her work designing a database of Great Lakes material culture and documentary records stored in museums and archives around the world for the Great Lakes Research Alliance (grasac.org) and a recent project on the privacy implications of using the global cloud to store confidential and private data (Seeing Through The Cloud). Current projects include a study of Pre-Confederation treaties, 1763-1815, and the historical and legal meanings of gift exchange in Great Lakes treaty agreements. She serves on the Board of Editors of the journal Ethnohistory, the Council of the Champlain Society, and is a Director of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History.
Audrey Rochette is Anishnaabe from Whitesand First Nation. She is an Indigenous Relations Consultant. Her passion for Indigenous relations was cultivated through her roles in the Indigenous community as the Senior Development Officer with Indspire, an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous People and imagineNATIVE Film + Media, the largest Indigenous film festival in the world as their Senior Fundraising Manager. Her Masters research focuses on decolonizing museums. Audrey is committed to positively impacting the under-representation of Indigenous students in post-secondary education. She currently serves as the elected Crane Leader for the Indigenous Students Association at the University of Toronto.
Audrey recently served as Co-Chair of the University of Toronto Decanal Working Group on Indigenous Teaching and Learning, mandated to improve the education of faculty, staff and students about Indigenous language and culture. In this capacity, she participated in an extensive yearlong campus-wide consultation process and helped author a comprehensive report on ways to strengthen Indigenous partnerships within the University of Toronto and to build curriculum, student research opportunities and co-curricular opportunities taught from an Indigenous perspective and incorporating Indigenous content.