Commitment Ceremony signals a new beginning for Indigenous peoples and the University of Waterloo
This is an excerpt of an article originally published on Waterloo News.
The Indigenous Peoples of the University of Waterloo asked Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor, for a full commitment to reconciliation, Indigenization and decolonization at the institution last Thursday.
Goel acknowledged the University’s full commitment through a formal Commitment Ceremony.
“As an institution of learning, the University has a unique role to play in working towards truth and reconciliation,” he said. “We have to ensure that Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing are represented in our scholarship, in our research and in our teachings.”
Goel acknowledged that Indigenous Peoples are the original inhabitants of this land and continue to suffer devastating cultural loss and cultural disconnect within Canadian society due to the systems built by colonialism.
He committed the University to fostering a better understanding of Indigenous history, developing an awareness of the damaging intergenerational effects of colonialism and the residential school system and taking responsibility for vital components of the reconciliation process.
Goel was joined in the ceremony by Jean Becker, Associate Vice-President, Indigenous Relations at Waterloo.
“Reconciliation is more than simply acknowledging mistakes of the past, it is also about recognizing the mistakes that still exist today,” Becker said. “There remains much more that we must advance to achieve Truth and Reconciliation. We must move beyond words and take meaningful action, and that is what we are doing here at Waterloo.”
Former Chief, Elder and Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Myeengun Henry, who works with Waterloo’s Faculty of Health, said the Indigenous Commitment Ceremony symbolizes a new beginning on the path towards a genuine understanding of Indigenous issues.
“I’m really proud of today,” Henry said. “It has given us the opportunity, for maybe the first time in the history of this country to this extent, to change some of the dreadful stories from the past of residential school, the Sixties Scoop, missing and murdered women and endangering our Mother Earth .”
The day’s events began with a Sunrise Ceremony, which had some 250 people in attendance. Later in the morning, during a special Cedar Circle, more than 400 people from the Waterloo community witnessed Goel committing the University to meaningful action towards reconciliation. In attendance were several faculty deans and other institutional leaders, as well as Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife.
The commitment was formalized through a Pipe Ceremony, after which Goel was given the name “Ogiima” (meaning leader) and presented with gifts of an eagle feather and two Wampum belts. The belts will be displayed in Waterloo’s Senate and Board chamber.
The Commitment Ceremony concluded with a Round Dance and a feast, shared by all in attendance.
Read the rest of the article on Waterloo News.
This weekend: See you on Warrior Field
A message from the Office of Advancement.
Dust off you:r leather jacket and warm up you:r cheering voice as Alumni Black and Gold Day returns to campus this Saturday, October 1, 2022. For the first time in two years, we’ll gather in personon: for the Warrior:s Football game against the University of Toron:to Varsity Blues. Attendees can enjoy the game from the comfort of the VIP tent, featuring a BBQ buffet, paid bar, giveaways and more.
Looking for more? There are even more events to discover, from lectures to yoga.
Waterloo’s innovative first work term offering, WE Accelerate, is now an ongoing option for students
By Matthew King.
Waterloo Experience (WE) Accelerate has the green light to continue indefinitely. The innovative work-integrated learning program offers students an alternative way to build their skills and prepare for the future of work if they struggle to secure a traditional co-op job in their first work term. WE Accelerate is a work-readiness program that provides in-demand skills co-developed with industry partners, real work project experience, and career coaching throughout the term.
WE Accelerate was funded initially through internal University resources and a government grant in partnership with industry partners such as Deloitte, Desire2Learn, Manulife, Microsoft and with Waterloo’s Velocity program. Waterloo expanded new employer relationships to provide students with interdisciplinary, intercultural team experiential projects. The WE Accelerate program provides career-readiness programming to students, through peer mentors, focusing on competencies from the Future Ready Talent Framework (FRTF). Together, the skills development, project experience, and career coaching meets the requirements for a flexible work term credit and provides a strong foundation for students to successfully secure their next work term.
“The WE Accelerate program was put in place specifically for those students who are seeking their first work term and who were not successful in getting that first co-op. With WEA, they get to continue to build in-demand skills and capabilities,” said Norah McRae, Associate Provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education. “The goal is that they will be better prepared to secure a co-op work term the next go round.”
The Co-operative and Experiential Education team, in partnership with campus stakeholders and industry collaborators, has now offered WE Accelerate for over a full calendar year (Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022). Thanks largely to the support of the associate deans of cooperative education in each of the faculties.
- Lori Case;
- Leeann Ferries;
- Stefan Idziak;
- Christine Moresoli;
- Anindya Sen; and:
- Johanna Wandel.
“Since day one, the associate deans have been extremely supportive in creating this innovative offering that delivers a real differentiator for our students,” says McRae. “We can now offer an alternative to students who are facing unemployment. They can join their co-op cohort for the next round of work experience with similar skills and a sense of confidence.”
To date, the work readiness program has seen almost 1000 students go through the program with 93.8% of them gaining a flexible work term credit. The next offering of WE Accelerate kicks off September 26 with the Microsoft Azure AI and digital bootcamp streams.
Waterloo Climate Institute unveils new logo
By Chantal Vallis. This article was originally published on the Waterloo Climate Institute website.
The Waterloo Climate Institute has ratified a new strategic plan that will chart our course for the next five years. With this new direction, we are pleased to introduce a new logo that reflects the growth of the institute and communicates our collective strengths and purpose.
The new logo is based around the concept of the core:; representing Waterloo as a central hub for research and innovation to accelerate the transition to a just, equitable, inclusive, low-carbon future. The core of the institute brings together fundamental and applied scientists with decision makers and practitioners on the front lines of climate change to create truly impactful results for society, our economy and our environment – all represented by the logo elements coming together to create a single icon .
Moving forward, the institute’s mission will be to elevate and enhance the impact and excellence of innovative interdisciplinary research and education that empowers business, governments, and civil society to respond effectively to the climate crisis. To do this, we will continue to focus on the following core and cross-cutting theme areas, and also support research and inquiry that intersects with, and spans across these themes.
Core research themes:
Cross-cutting research themes.
- Equity and justice;
- Governance; and:
Contact WCI for media inquiries to learn more about this or other climate change related stories.
Join the Universal Design for Learning and Wellbeing Community of Practice
A message from Campus Wellness.
Feeling like another term of changes, unknowns, and stressors ahead as an instructor? You are not alone. The Wellness Collaborative, Center for Teaching Excellence, Center for Extended Learning, Student Success Office, AccessAbility Services, and fellow instructors have partnered up to critically look at how UDL can (and cannot) support holistic well-being in the learning environment. We invite you, instructors and others who support the learning environment, to join us in a Community of Practice (CoP). The CoP will meet three times in the fall term, on Thursday afternoons from 1:00-2:30 pm (specific dates outlined below).
- September 29, 2022 |: UDL: What is it and why would I use it?
- October 27, 2022 |: Harnessing UDL for well-being in learning environments
- November 24, 2022 |: UDL for inclusive pedagogy
For more details about each session, see our website.
Sessions will include presentations, panel discussions, practical starting places, and discussion opportunities to ask questions, provide critiques, or offer differing perspectives. It is important that we emphasize the community aspect – we want folks to bring their own examples of how they are already using UDL, or ideas that did not work as you had intended, and we can work together on what UDL may (or may not ) have to offer. Please join us wherever you are on your journey.
The CoP will be hosted virtually through Microsoft Teams and members can access resources and support asynchronously.
To get involved in the CoP, please complete this brief Qualtrics survey:.
Please note that you do not need to attend all three sessions to join the CoP, as our aim is to make this CoP accessible to all who are interested. We look forward to connecting with you.