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UPEI announces Indigenous advisory group

An Indigenous dancer participates in the Connecting Aboriginal Cultures event at UPEI.
An Indigenous dancer participates in the Connecting Aboriginal Cultures event at UPEI.

Charlottetown - The University of Prince Edward Island is striding into the spotlight to honour the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report with plans announced on Friday for an Indigenous advisory group.

“UPEI is committed to being fully aware of the role our institution must play in promoting a better understanding of Aboriginal history and culture, and supporting respectful relationships based on mutual understanding with members of our Indigenous community,” said UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz.

He continued, “We must ensure that the perspectives of our Indigenous peoples are included in the governance of the University.”

The Indigenous Advisory Council will guide, advise, and support the overall direction to be undertaken by UPEI to indigenize the campus and contribute to the reconciliation process through higher learning. 

“UPEI is committed to being fully aware of the role our institution must play in promoting a better understanding of Aboriginal history and culture, and supporting respectful relationships based on mutual understanding with members of our Indigenous community,” said UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz.

He continued, “We must ensure that the perspectives of our Indigenous peoples are included in the governance of the University.”

The Indigenous Advisory Council will guide, advise, and support the overall direction to be undertaken by UPEI to indigenize the campus and contribute to the reconciliation process through higher learning. 

Members of the Council include:

·       Brian Francis, Chief of Abegweit First Nation.

·       Matilda Ramjattan, Chief of Lennox Island First Nation.

·       Lisa Cooper, President and Chief of the Native Council of P.E.I.

·       Judith Clark, UPEI Elder-in-Residence and President of the Aboriginal Women’s Association of Prince Edward Island.

·       Payton Jadis, President of the UPEI Aboriginal Student Association.

·       Robert Gilmour Jr., UPEI Vice-President Academic and Research.

·       Jackie Podger, UPEI Vice-President Administration and Finance.

“This Council,” said President Abd-El-Aziz, “will explore ideas and develop initiatives that enable the campus to change attitudes and open opportunities so that Indigenous students at UPEI are welcomed and can thrive and achieve high levels of academic and personal success.”

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