Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations is not easily achieved. Nevertheless, it is essential.Within the scope of Ontario’s university sector, this means ensuring that Indigenous peoples are encouraged and enabled to equitably access, engage, and succeed throughout their post-secondary careers and beyond. The best way to ensure that universities can provide engaging and meaningful experiences for Indigenous students is to pursue a path towards reconciliation via ‘decolonization’ and ‘Indigenization’.
Decolonization involves the recognition of Indigenous worldviews and pedagogies, deconstructing Western institutional practices, and complementing those with traditional Indigenous knowledge(s) and practices. Indigenization involves the meaningful inclusion of Indigenous knowledge(s) in the very fabric of academia, from policies to practices across all levels, including the curriculum. In short, it has to go beyond Western values and traditions, reconciling the historic and ongoing injustices committed by the province’s colonial structures.