Report on Indigenous Teaching & Learning

As the largest Faculty in one of Canada’s leading universities, Arts & Science has a central role to play in answering the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). In order to effectively address the cultural genocide that took place in residential schools and ongoing structures of colonialism, Arts & Science must become a place where Indigenous languages, forms of cultural expression, systems of knowledge, theories and research methodologies are transmitted and are critically and rigorously studied at the most advanced levels.

Decanal Advisory Committee Report 2019 - 2020

Established in July 2018, the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Indigenous Teaching & Learning has focused on implementing Calls to Action from the A&S Indigenous Teaching & Learning Working Group.

In 2019 - 20, the committee’s work was guided by an overarching principle: meaningful change cannot be based solely on an additive model. Hiring more professors and proposing more courses is important, but not sufficient. A&S needs to go beyond a land acknowledgement to ask: in what ways does Arts & Science need to transform itself to meet the commitments it has made to Indigenous research, teaching, learning, and community partnerships?

The committee developed five priority recommendations that build on the Faculty's Academic Plan. More details regarding the specific action items can be found in the full report below.

Report of the Dean's Advisory Committee on Indigenous Teaching & Learning

ITL Committee Membership 2019 - 2020



Susan Hill Director, Centre for Indigenous Studies, Associate Professor, Indigenous Studies & History
Pamela Klassen Professor, Department for the Study of Religion, Vice-Dean Undergraduate (until Jan 1, 2020)



Eileen Antone Special Advisor to the Dean on Indigenous Issues 



Donald Boere Assistant Principal and Registrar, Innis College
Lisa Feng Faculty Registrar
Emily Gilbert Director, Canadian Studies Program, Professor, Department of Geography & Planning
Antoinette Handley Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science
Marty Krkosek Associate Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Bonnie Jane Maracle Learning Strategist, First Nations House
Bonnie McElhinny Principal, New College
Mia McKie Graduate Student, History
Jennifer Murrin Centre Coordinator, Centre for Indigenous Studies
Liza Nassim Dean of Students, Woodsworth College
Neil Neebar Associate Faculty Registrar & Director, Registrar Services
Mary Pugh Professor, Department of Mathematics
Keren Rice University Professor, Department of Linguistics
Jasmine Spence Undergraduate Student, Economics/Geography/CIS
Shannon Simpson Director, Office of Indigenous Initiatives
Cheryl Suzack Associate Professor, Department of English
Natalie Szponar Graduate Student, Earth Sciences (fall term only)
Dale Turner Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
Brenda Wastasecoot Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Centre for Indigenous Studies & Faculty of Arts & Science
Alana Boland Associate Dean, Teaching & Learning
Krista Slade Director, Strategic Partnerships

Administrative Support


Erin Macnab Assistant Director, Teaching & Learning Initiatives


Decanal Working Group Report 2016 - 2017

Representing an important step forward, a working group on Indigenous Teaching & Learning was established by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science in the summer of 2016. Through in-depth discussions and facilitated activities over the 2016 - 2017 year, the working group developed 20 Calls to Action. These Calls to Action are all consistent with the Mission and Purpose of the University. They are outlined in this document under the seven key themes:

  • An Indigenous College for U of T/Arts & Science
  • Supporting the Centre for Indigenous Studies
  • Divisional Leadership
  • Enhancing Support and Services for Indigenous Students
  • Curricular Changes
  • Training for Faculty and Staff
  • Responding to this Report

Decanal Working Group on Indigenous Teaching and Learning Report

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