By Saima Asad, October 18 2016 —
Though it is still in its early stages of development, consultation sessions have begun for the University of Calgary’s upcoming Indigenous Strategy.
An Inner City Dialogue was held on Oct. 17 at Fort Calgary where invited individuals offered their suggestions for the strategy. Attendees included indigenous leaders, school teachers and principals.
One of the event’s attendees was Chief of the U of C’s First Nations Students Association Tylor Pavlik said the university is looking for student consultation.
“They wanted a student voice on the committee to make sure everything is reflective of what the students want, as well as what the university is asking for,” Pavlik said
Set to launch this spring, the U of C Indigenous Strategy is currently focused on gauging input from various stakeholders. Students, faculty, staff and community members have been invited to sit on the Indigenous Strategy Working Group and submit their input.
“We are still very early on in creating the strategy, but in essence the Indigenous Strategy aims to create a more inclusive and more accessible campus and it is aimed to make post-secondary education more accessible, specifically towards the indigenous population,” Students’ Union vice-president student life Patrick Ma said.
Another consultation session will be held on Nov. 4. The On-Campus Stakeholders Dialogue will feature discussion from professors and faculty. Ma said students can get involved as volunteers.
“There are a few opportunities for students to get involved as volunteer recorders during the consultation sessions. They can apply to be recorders if they go to the Native Centre website and register as a general volunteer,” Ma said.
Pavlik said the Nov. 4 session should have more input from members of the U of C.
The U of C estimates the Indigenous Strategy will be unveiled this June.
“We’re looking to create a solid draft of the document sometime in February and they’re going to approximately have the final meeting on April 13,” Ma said.