Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategy launched at Carleton

Mallory Whiteduck, the Aboriginal cultural liaison officer with the Centre for Aboriginal Culture and Education, is one of the team of people who developed the Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategy. (Chris King Photo)

For Mallory Whiteduck, the month of November was a remarkable time in Carleton’s history.

Whiteduck, along with her colleagues at the university, saw the implementation of a new document that recognizes and embraces Aboriginal culture on campus.

“To me, this means that Carleton is moving onto a new plan of engaging Aboriginal students, communities and their life at the university,” says Whiteduck, who’s the Aboriginal cultural liaison officer with the Centre for Aboriginal Culture and Education.

On Nov. 23, the university launched the Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategy – a document that was a team effort created by Carleton’s Task Force on Aboriginal Affairs.

As part of the document’s purpose to engage and embrace Aboriginal culture on campus, the team came up with the strategy’s fundamental values.

One of the values is that Carleton acknowledges its location as “unceded territories of the Algonquin nation.” In addition, the document says that “Carleton respects and values indigenous knowledge . . . and is dedicated to simultaneously recognizing the history of First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada.”

As part of the strategy, the university will also reach out to Aboriginal communities and begin to introduce Aboriginal knowledge into education. This includes first reaching out to Algonquin communities, along with other communities across the country.

“This will be an important opportunity for Carleton, not only regionally and nationally, but indeed with indigenous communities around the globe,” the document states. “Carleton University aspires to become a noted centre for Aboriginal learning and innovative research as it embraces diverse populations in a caring community.”

As part of the strategy, Carleton also hopes that the relationships formed with Aboriginal communities will help enhance and guide related initiatives in the university.

Whiteduck and her colleagues on the task force will lead the strategy, and she is looking forward to it being used in concrete ways across the Carleton campus.

“We want to make sure that this isn’t just another document – that words become actions to make sure these values are represented,” she adds.

Carleton is the first university Whiteduck knows of that has introduced a strategy focused on highlighting the importance of Aboriginal life and culture on campus.

“I think this is a good model for other universities to follow,” she says. “It begins to set the terms of what engaging with Aboriginal peoples means.”

The strategy was a work in progress since 2009, and even though the initiative was officially launched on Nov. 23, Whiteduck has high hopes for it to change and expand over the years.

“We expect it will change and grow as people will grow, and become more involved,” she says. “It will be possible to go even further with it and engage even more.”



This entry was written by Kristy Strauss and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media: http://carletonnow.carleton.ca/?p=8456

Kristy Strauss

By Kristy Strauss

Kristy Strauss graduated from Carleton's journalism program in 2009. She is a regular contributor to Carleton Now. She has worked as a reporter for the Kemptville Advance. She currently reports for EMC Ottawa South.

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