Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 80.45
Liaison Tori Grant
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Calgary
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Aviva Fialkow
Sustainability Program Assistant
Office of Sustainability
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Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Indigenous Strategy

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy launched on November 16, 2017. The strategy is the result of nearly two years of community and campus engagement and involved the work of a number of people from the university, Indigenous communities and community stakeholders. In total, the university connected with and received input from over 2,200 people through the gathering stories phase of development. The culmination of community consultations and campus engagement led to the strategy called, ii’taa’poh’to’p. The Indigenous Strategy will help to guide the university in a good way on its path towards reconciliation.
In addition to the thorough consultation process, what makes the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy innovative is its commitment to reset, revitalize and renew its relationship to Indigenous communities.
The path taken to develop the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy is truly unique. The university chose to follow a parallel path that included the standard institutional terms of reference, but also adopted an Indigenous journey framework laid out in four stages: setting out/calling together, gathering stories, bringing the stories home, empowering the spirit of Indigenization. In addition, themes gathered from the community consultations were organized into four visionary circles: Ways of Knowing, Ways of Doing, Ways of Connecting, and Ways of Being. The visionary circles are, in turn, connected to a centre vision, marking a shared space – a space that provides an opportunity for ongoing respectful and ethical engagement of the Indigenous community. The visionary circles were then, with approval and input from traditional knowledge keepers, translated into cultural symbols that share the story and content of the strategy. The final selection, design, and configuration of cultural symbols and associated teachings were transferred to the university through ceremony by traditional knowledge keeper, Reg Crowshoe from Piikani First Nation. The cultural symbols gifted for use in the Strategy are of this place and reflect of traditional Indigenous pictographs and petroglyphs from sacred sites in southern Alberta. The symbols are an essential part of the parallel path taken towards the development of the Indigenous Strategy. The final framework of the university’s Indigenous strategy ii’taa’poh’to’p include: Transformation (the Journey), Renewal (the People), Ways of Knowing (Teaching, Learning, and Research), Ways of Doing (Policies, Procedures, and Practices), Ways of Connecting (Relationships, Partnerships, Connections to Land and Place), Ways of Being (Campus Identity, Inclusivity, Leadership, and Engagement) and Shared Space (Ethical Space).
As a result of the Indigenous Strategy in 2017, the following are a list of select accomplishments and initiatives that have taken shape over the past year:
•Hiring of the Vice Provost (Indigenous Engagement), leading a team of five – including a traditional knowledge keeper in residence
•50K allocated to campus projects through the ii’taa’poh’to’p intercultural capacity grants program
•Formation of the “Circle of Advisors” for ii’taa’poh’to’p, 15 traditional knowledge keepers, bringing together with 12 senior leaders from across the campus community
•Establishment of seven sub-committees, working on the implementation of 27 recommendations cited in the strategy
•Creation of space for four new Canada Research Chairs dedicated to Indigenous research, one of whom is focused on Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering
•Ceremonial transfer of four cultural gifts, marking the parallel path that the university has chosen to follow in development, engagement, and implementation: Blackfoot name (ii’taa’poh’to’p – meaning a place to rejuvenate and re-energize during a journey), a series of Cultural symbols, a Teepee design, and an honour song for the University.
•Campfire Chats on National Indigenous Peoples Day and Teepee Painting https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2018-06-26/campfire-chats-helps-remove-barriers-national-indigenous-peoples-day

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Engagement
Diversity & Affordability

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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