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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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The Latest Buzz Words: Indigenization, Reconciliation, Decolonization

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued its Calls to Action in 2015. Focusing on the Calls to Action for education, Jill Thompson and Rachel Ariss discuss what it means to build new relationships between Indigenous communities and the university.

This event was held on July 9, 2020.


Speaker Bios

Jill Thompson is a member of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and currently lives on the First Nation. She has been the Indigenous Cultural Advisor at Ontario Tech since July 2014. Jill graduated from the Indigenous Studies Program at Trent University with Honours and earned mental health counsellor certification through the Native Counselling Training Program offered through the Ontario Native Education Counselling Association. Previous to coming to Ontario Tech, Jill worked as the Indigenous Cultural Advisor/Counsellor at Trent University in the First Peoples House of Learning.  


Dr. Rachel Ariss is Associate Professor in Legal Studies at Ontario Tech University and is from a settler background. She currently serves as the co-chair of the Reconciliation Task Force and the Indigenous Education Advisory Circle at the university. She has written on Indigenous land rights, the duty to consult and mining with John Cutfeet, and is currently writing on the role of witnessing in Indigenous social justice struggles. She earned an SJD from the University of Toronto in 2002, and joined Ontario Tech in 2010.​​