Forum on Indigenization & Reconciliation at Memorial

Mark your calendars!

Join us for our second Forum on Indigenization and Reconciliation at Memorial, June 14-18, 2024.

Students, staff, and faculty are invited to engage with the Office of Indigenous Affairs in conversations around the Strategic Framework for Indigenization, our respective roles in reconciliation, and some of the work that has been underway here at Memorial currently and in years past. More details will be shared early in the new year, including a call for proposals. Please check back for updates.

The first Forum on Indigenization and Reconciliation at Memorial took place November 9-10, 2023. Members of the Memorial community can access the recorded sessions by contacting Kelly Butler, interim director, Indigenous engagement and reconciliation, at

 Below is the schedule from #FIRM2023.

FIRM 2023 DAY 1

Thursday, November 9, 2023













Opening remarks/Welcome


Background on Indigenous Affairs at Memorial: Setting the Stage



Catharyn Andersen and Kelly Butler

Catharyn Andersen and Kelly Butler open the forum by discussing some of the history of Indigenous Affairs at Memorial University that goes back many years, offering a recap of the process toward the creation of the Strategic Framework for Indigenization, and the post-TRC report shift across Canada in how post-secondary institutions approach indigenization.  The session will close with thoughts around what we hope to accomplish with this precursor forum, and what to expect from the next FIRM in 2024.




Get to Know the Office of Indigenous Affairs (OIA)

All OIA/ISRC/IRC staff

Indigenous Affairs staff members from the Grenfell and St. John’s campuses will introduce ourselves by sharing who we are and what we do here at Memorial University. 



LUNCH BREAK  12:30-1:30














Establishing Presence Through Visual Identity



Joanne Harris, Andrea Morgan, and John Harvey

This session will discuss the collaborations between MarComm and the OIA to create the Juniper House logo and the visual aspects of the Strategic Framework for Indigenization.  This developed a visual identity for the OIA and the ISRC, which informs diverse communication materials ranging from business cards to the OIA website.  Demonstrated in this work are the importance of taking great care with cultural symbols while using them to create a visual connection, and highlighted the nuances of balancing university procedures and community processes.






Strengthening Campus-Community Connections: Bridging Research and Indigenous Community through Partnership


Kristen Pittman and Jenn Buxton

Kristen Pittman and Jenn Buxton discuss the relationship between Indigenous Affairs and the Office of Engagement in establishing, maintaining, and nurturing relationships between Grenfell Campus and Indigenous communities.








Brushes and Trowels: Tools for Cultivating Indigenous Spaces



Day 1 closing remarks

Joanne Harris and Kim Shipp



Catharyn Andersen and Kelly Butler

This session will discuss how collaboration is essential to creating Indigenous spaces and experiences.  On the St. John’s campus, through OIA representation on the Memorial Beautification Committee two new projects were set in motion: the Armillary Sphere garden and the Art Wall in the rose garden.  These campus firsts speak to the importance of networks, knowledge, time, and persistence in creating Indigenous spaces on campus.


FIRM 2023 DAY 2

Friday, November 10, 2023










Opening remarks


How Do We Measure Success?

Catharyn Andersen and Kelly Butler

Reflections from day 1, what to expect for day 2

Discussion around how to measure success in Indigenization and Reconciliation in a world of metrics and KPIs.  How can members of the Memorial community help?



















A Place to Gather: Juniper House






Valeri Pilgrim and Katie Hayward

A Place to Gather is not only a story about what the indoor and outdoor spaces at Juniper House have to offer students and the Memorial Community, but also a story reflective of activities and connections, meaningful relations and friendships. The Indigenous Student Resource Centre (ISRC) along with 3 staff operate out of Juniper House and was opened to students in the fall of 2021. This colorful presentation not only reflects the many activities that have been ongoing these past two years, but it also briefly introduces the roots of two staff members who assist in the everyday activities and administrative duties associated with running an Indigenous Student Resource Centre on campus. This presentation was originally delivered by Valeri Pilgrim and Katie Hayward at CACUSS in June, 2023 in Niagara Falls, ON.









Student and Elder Space:  History and Collaboration


Catharyn Andersen, Valeri Pilgrim, Kelly Butler, Mike Foley

Indigenous Affairs staff discuss the history of Indigenous student space at Memorial University, and engage in conversation with Facilities Management around collaboration in the creation of new space for Indigenous students and Elders at Memorial, including some of the most recent initiatives.











Indigenous Education, Cultural Humility, Learning, and Unlearning


Kelly Butler and

Ivan J White

What is cultural humility?  Why is it important?  How do we position ourselves to participate in reconciliation?  This session seeks to help answer these questions and consider the context of Indigenous education and what our respective roles are in indigenization and reconciliation.





Where Do We Go From Here?


Closing remarks

Catharyn Andersen and Kelly Butler

Catharyn Andersen and Kelly Butler reflect on the two days of sessions, and discuss the 2024 forum and how you can participate.