Strategic Framework for Indigenization 2021-2026
Memorial University has released its Strategic Framework for Indigenization 2021-2026.
The university worked in partnership with the Indigenous Peoples of Newfoundland and Labrador to develop the framework. Extensive consultations, in-depth discussions and significant feedback from many stakeholders contributed to the draft. The President’s Advisory Committee on Indigenous Affairs provided guidance and leadership every step of the way.
The framework presents a set of actions grounded in the consultations and framed so Memorial can advance reconciliation. It sets out four strategic priorities: Leadership and Partnership; Teaching and Learning; Research; and Student Success. Within each strategic priority, actions have been identified that reflect what was heard from both Indigenous communities and the university community.
The planning process for the framework began by engaging with Indigenous leadership to determine the best approach in engaging with Indigenous communities. Internally, within the university, a survey helped to inform the approach for university stakeholder engagement. The initial step ensured strong collaboration before and during the process, resulting in a final draft plan that reflects the input of various Indigenous groups across Newfoundland and Labrador and in the university community.
The purpose of the consultations was to gain thoughts and perspectives about past, current and potential engagements between Indigenous communities and Memorial University to guide the development of Memorial’s Strategic Framework for Indigenization.
In late 2019, Memorial released a summary report of Indigenous community engagements, which reflected the 26 consultations that took place with members of Indigenous communities across Newfoundland and Labrador from August 2018-August 2019. Three overarching themes emerged throughout the consultations: increasing knowledge of Indigenous peoples and places; indigenizing the academy; and strengthening university- Indigenous community relationships. The development of the framework focused on these three areas in order to guide Memorial’s efforts to indigenize the academy, address truth and reconciliation, and decolonization.
On June 12 2020 the draft framework was released. The framework was made available to Indigenous communities and the Memorial University community for review and feedback. Six weeks was provided for comments and feedback. All feedback was considered by a working group of the President’s Advisory Committee on Indigenous Affairs, and a final draft was approved by Vice-Presidents Council in October 2020.
The framework was endorsed by Memorial University Senate at its December 2020 meeting, and then approved by the Board of Regents at its March 2021 meeting.
Before reading the framework, it is recommended that readers review definitions of three key concepts - Indigenization, Decolonization and Reconciliation - which are important to understand while reading the framework.