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Honouring Our Commitment
2Click to hear Bear Creek, an Ojibwe drum group based out of Batchewana First Nation drumming the Honour Song.
3 WelcomeMina dendaming a’gada ganawendaamowonaaHonouring our commitmentClick here to listen to the Anishinaabemowin pronunciation.
4Minaa Dendaming Debwewin Honouring the Truth“ Without truth, justice is not served, healing cannot happen, and there can be no genuine reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada, [...] we mean not only the truth revealed in government and church residential school documents, but also the truth of lived experiences as told to us by Survivors and others in their statements to this Commission.” Click here to listen to the Anishinaabemowin pronunciation.(Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future Summary of the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, June 2, 2015)
5SHINGWAUK RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SURVIVOR John Saylor“ Most of the people that went to residential school never talk about it. They don’t want to share about it. They want to keep it inside themselves. […] I’m glad that the education system is getting it [right] to open doors for education about residential school [and] educating the people about our culture.” To hear more of John’s story, press play.Algoma University acknowledges the important work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) in bringing to light a very dark period in Canada’s treatment of Indigenous people. Work began and continues as a result of the advocacy and outcry of IRS Survivors against the assimilationist and extinguishment policies of Canada. The impacts of this history continues to plague Indigenous communities and negatively affects Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations in every possible way. Algoma University acknowledges and honours all survivors, the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association (CSAA), the National Residential School Survivors’ Society (NRSSS) and other organizations and individuals that have relentlessly, as part of what grew from a grassroots movement, mobilized and advocated for the TRC and its Calls to Action.
61. Be a teaching-oriented university that provides programs in liberal arts and sciences and professional programs, primarily at the undergraduate level, with a particular focus on the needs of Northern Ontario; and 2. Cultivate cross-cultural learning between Aboriginal communities and other communities, in keeping with the history of Algoma University College and its geographic site. (An Act to establish Algoma University and to dissolve Algoma University College, Bill 80, May 2008) The unique history of the Shingwauk site and the story of our journey to independence as a University, guides our Special Mission to:
7“ Algoma University is a place we should all be proud to be connected to. It has been one of the first institutions that has reached out to engage with the Survivor community, because it is located in a building that used to be a residential school. It, among all the universities in this country, has a strong connection to that residential school past. But it also has a strong role to play in showing the way to reconciliation to ensure that the Survivors in this community [are] involved in what this institution does [...] and if this institution can show the rest of this country, then we will all be proud of it.” (Sinclair, May 30, 2016)Senator Murray Sinclair, Chair of the TRC and frequent visitor to the Shingwauk site, recognized the efforts of Algoma University, the partners with Shingwauk, and their stories:
8Truth and reconciliation must continue in Canada, but also must address the broad and deep time impacts of colonialism on all life and nature, globally. Chief Shingwauk’s vision of inclusion of both traditional and modern ways, of “sharing, healing and learning,” offers an approach; the compass and reach of which, actual and virtual, is universal and inclusive, and well within the capacities of Algoma and its potential partners, nationally and globally. The formation of partnerships with Indigenous and other groups and organizations with affinitive ties to the site, its location and significance continues to grow. An expanded partnership timeline can be found here. To hear more of Jackie’s story, press play.“ Algoma University is striving to address the Truth and Reconciliation [Commission’s] Calls to Action by confirming what our people have been saying and manifesting solutions according to the recommendations based on ceremony and guidance by former students. The world needs to know that the shingwauk residential school vision, as originally intended, will be fulfilled through the continuous efforts of the [Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association] (CSAA) survivors, [Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig] (SKG), [Shingwauk Education Trust] ( SET), [Anishinaabe Students’ Association] (SASA), and collaborating with Algoma University to incorporate our story and way of life through all levels of their education system.” SHINGWAUK RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SURVIVORJackie Fletcher
9Chief Shingwaukonse (1773-1854)Chief Shingwauk’s vision of Teaching Wigwams was for the creation of a lodge or schoolhouse where his people and the settlers could learn together.
10Our Vision; past, present and future.
11Our Vision; past, present and future.
12In February 2017, Algoma University, in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action (2015), pledged it’s Response to the Calls to Action (2017). The following are some of the highlights from the past three years: 1. In 2018, with the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre we unveiled the Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall exhibition which tells the history of the Shingwauk site in the broader context of colonialism, continuing to digitize and make accessible information about the legacy of Residential Schools, and committing resources to public education about Residential Schools. (Calls to Action 67-70 to decolonize and make accessible archives and museums). We continue to expand on this work.2017-2020 - Reporting on our Progress
132. In 2018-2019, in collaboration with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig we introduced the Anishinaabe Studies Degree, complementing the Anishinaabemowin language degree, started in 1997. 3. In 2018 we signed an addendum to the original covenant with Shingwauk Education Trust and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig to reinvigorate the mutual commitment to the restoration of the original spirit and intent of Chief Shingwauk’s vision of a teaching wigwam.4. In 2019, alongside SKG and 3 other universities we co-hosted the 5th Annual National Building Reconciliation Forum which saw over 300 university representatives and dignitaries, students and survivors from coast to coast. 5. In 2019 we hired a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Healing and Reconciliation and in 2020 created and hired the University’s first senior executive Vice-President, Nyaagaaniid - Student Success and Anishinaabe Initiatives.
146. We have begun to weave Indigenous spirituality (ceremony), culture (way of life) and tradition (way of doing) into our procedures, practices, and education.7. We became a member of the University of the Arctic (UArctic), a network of universities, colleges, research institutes, and other organizations concerned with education and research in and about the North. UArctic builds and strengthens collective resources and infrastructures that enable member institutions to better serve their constituents and their regions. UArctic promotes relationships of respect, trust, and partnership, and embraces the perspectives and knowledge of northern Indigenous peoples.8. Educational programming that supports communities. 9. We have enhanced Support Services for Anishinaabe Students in the areas of student success and workplace readiness.
1510. Through the work of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre and the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, we continue to support the honouring of children who never returned home and to support their families. The SRSC has worked with CSAA to revise the Shingwauk Cemetery burial register. Algoma University also continues to work with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to correct errors in the National Memorial Register relating to the Shingwauk Site. (Calls to Action: Missing Children and Burial Information). *11. We continue to advocate for the recognition and designation of the Shingwauk Site as a national historic site (Call to Action 79) and for the revision of the existing Shingwauk Hall provincial heritage plaque, to reflect a community understanding of the impact of the Shingwauk Residential School.ADDITIONAL RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS“ We have to acknowledge the truth first, and then go into the reconciliation [and] then healing. Because, I, as a Survivor, know that you can’t have healing unless you reconcile. There’s so [many] things to consider in terms of education and the whole [process] about reconciliation.” SHINGWAUK RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SURVIVOR Irene BarbeauTo hear more of Irene’s story, press play.
16Part 4: Honouring our Commitment 2021-2024In 2020 the Algoma University Board and Senate identified the need to advance the University’s commitments to truth and reconciliation by recommitting to the Calls to Action. 1. We are committed to responding to the Calls to Action on education 6-17 and 62-65, specifically answering the calls to action on developing appropriate curricula (Call to Action 10.3), supporting faculty in the integration of Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms (Call to Action 62.2), and working to develop Indigenous centered educational experiences through partnership.
172. We will engage in data collection to identify the current percentage of FNMI employees to develop targets in recruitment, hiring, and retention to reflect this employee group.3. With the support and leadership of the Nyaagaaniid, we will review progress and further implement efforts to decolonize and Indigenize the University, campus’, policies, procedures, pedagogy, curriculum, and collective agreements. (Calls to Action 16 and 62) 4. We will create safe spaces (inclusive classrooms, teaching wigwam, tee-pee, teaching lodge) and programming for Anishinaabe students and employees. (Call to Action 62). Zhaabowintoying a’gada Anishinaabe newininaa Nangwa zhi aawang, noondaash a’gada waabadaanaa a’gaa zhayaaying miinwaa a’gada newininaa negaatch nagwanaagwak. Maadaaw gendamok kichi kitaziiminaanik miinwaa zhayaaywin be’mowidojik. Miidash, nangwa giishagak aabadek a’gadaa n’da zhidjigeme a’wii miwiiwdowing a’wii mina’waadjitoying a’gada zhiyaawinninaa miinwaa a’gada newininaa. Pagwa yaayin, wegane’gwa enakiiyin, getin gajiton a’wii zhaabowitoyin a’gada newin. Kachi nojishe’minaanik a’da kachi miigwetchendamok a’gii zhaabowitoyin a’gada Anishnaabe’aadazowinminaa. Preserving our Anishinaabe languageNowadays, as we see and hear less of our way of life, our culture and language slowly fading. It is of great concern to our elders and knowledge keepers. So today, we must make every effort to carry on with this important task of preserving our unique culture and language. No matter where you are, whatever you are doing, make every effort preserve your language. Our great grandchildren will be grateful that we preserved our Anishinaabe way of life for them.Click here to listen to the Anishinaabemowin pronunciation.
185. We will continue to work with the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association to create programming which honours the legacy of residential schools. (Calls to Action 63, 67-71)6. We are committed to Mukqua Waakaa’igan, a proposed cultural and educational center; a place of “sharing, healing and learning,” that supports cross-cultural Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge sharing in pursuit of the good life, mino-bimaadiziwin. (Call to Action 62) 7. We will champion efforts across various sectors to facilitate truth and reconciliation in education and society. (Calls to Action: Education for Reconciliation).8. We are committed to taking every measure to address the potential that there may be burial sites outside the marked gravesites in the Shingwauk Cemetery. It is incumbent upon us to do this work, alongside others who oversee portions of the Shingwauk site, and we will continue to move forward in a culturally respectful and responsible way.
19Children of ShingwaukReunion
20Click to hear the poem “Home Isn’t Home” written and spoken by Makayla Webkamigad, Algoma University Anishinaabe Studies student, delivered at the 5th Annual National Building Reconciliation Forum.Makayla is the granddaughter of three residential school survivors. “The most important thing that I wanted to highlight was that just because residential schools are closed, it doesn’t mean that the ugliness still isn’t present in day-to-day lives. […] I wanted to really share the perspective of being second generation out — it still affects me.”Makayla Webkamigad, 2019“Home Isn’t Home” written and spoken by Makayla Webkamigad
21Most importantly, we pledge to go beyond the Calls to Actions and to work in partnership with the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, the Shingwauk Education Trust, and community to define what this will mean for us.Reconciliation is“an ongoing process of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships. A critical part of this process involves repairing damaged trust by making apologies, providing individual and collective reparations, and following through with concrete actions that demonstrate real societal change. Establishing respectful relationships also requires the revitalization of Indigenous law and legal traditions.” Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 20155th Annual National Building Reconciliation Forum Overview
22P 12 Photo: The Ceremonial Opening of Reclaiming Shingwauk Hall Exhibition, August 2018 P 13 Photo: 5th Annual Building Reconciliation Forum, October 2019 from left to right: Jay Jones, President of the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association; Professor Emeritus, Don Jackson; Children of Shingwauk Survivors, Michael Cachagee, Daisy Kostus, John Saylors, Shirley Roach, Irene Barbeau, Shirley Horn, and Jackie Fletcher; with Isadore Day, founder and CEO of Bimaadzwin; and Elizabeth Edgar-Webkamigad, Former Director of Shingwauk Residential School Centre (SRSC)P 14 Photo: Grand Entry, Gathering at the Rapids Pow Wow, March 2019P 15 Photo and Video: Children of Shingwauk Survivor, Jackie FletcherP 16 Photo: Students from Brampton campus in cross-cultural activityP 17 Audio: Anishinaabemowin pronunciation courtesy of Dr. Stewart RoyP 18 Photo: Senior students at Shingwauk Residential School, ca. 1960 P 19 Photo: Children of Shingwauk Reunion 2018P 20 Makayla Webkamigad, Algoma University Anishinaabe Studies studentP 21 Video: 5th Annual Building Reconciliation Forum at Algoma University, October 2019 P 23 Audio: Anishinaabemowin pronunciation courtesy of Dr. Stewart RoyAcknowledgements with special thanksPHOTO, AUDIO AND VIDEO CONTRIBUTIONSCover Photo: From left, Children of Shingwauk, Louisa and Willard Smart from Tyendinega Mohawk Territory, 1891 (Courtesy of Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre)P 2 Audio: “Honour Song”, Bear Creek, an Ojibwe drum group based out of Batchewana First Nation P 3 Welcome video: Mary Wabano-McKay, Vice-President Nyaagaaniid, Anishinaabe Initiatives, Algoma University Audio: Anishinaabemowin pronunciation courtesy of Dr. Stewart RoyP 4 Audio: Anishinaabemowin pronunciation courtesy of Dr. Stewart Roy Photo: Junior girls at Shingwauk Residential School, ca. 1950 (Courtesy of Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre)P 5 Photo and Video: Children of Shingwauk Survivor, John SaylorP 6 Photo: 2019 Anishinaabe Welcome Week – students in the big canoe (Courtesy of the Anishinaabe Initiatives Division) P 7 Video: Senator Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, May 2016P 8 Photo and Video: Children of Shingwauk Survivor, Irene BarbeauP 9 Photo: Chief Shingwauk (1773-1854), also known as Shingwaukonce, or “LITTLE PINE” (Courtesy of Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre)P 10 Photos: From left, Shingwauk Residential School (ca. 1910), Algoma University (2018), Algoma University future build proposal
23“Strong partnerships, significant investments and conscious, deliberate actions are contributing factors to the advancement of Indigenous Education at Algoma University and will move Algoma beyond the TRC’s Calls to Action, to establish it as a leader in Indigenous Education.” Anishinaabe Peoples’ Council, Algoma University Chi-miigwetch Our thanks Click here to listen to the Anishinaabemowin pronunciation.
Algoma University | 1520 Queen Street East • Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario P6A 2G4 • Ph. (705) 949-2301 • W.algomau.caHonouring Our CommitmentWe acknowledge Mother Earth, her waters, their life-giving spirit and all that she provides us. We acknowledge our ancestors who have gone before us, travelled these lands, and cared for and stewarded them. We acknowledge all our relations that are upon these lands. We seek guidance from all of Creation, and from one another, for the good thoughts that will go into our work.Algoma University has three campus sites on the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Mushkegowuk, Haudenosaunee and Métis Nations.