Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Why are the terms Aboriginal and Indigenous used when one could be used throughout?

The draft Aboriginal Strategic Plan was developed by five goal committees working in tandem to create strategies. Terminology was discussed in each committee. There has yet to be a decision made on the terms and this reflects the evolution of language in the community. Each term carries nuances that may or may not be inclusive for all communities. Using the most specific, respectful terminology is the current practice.

What does Indigenization and Indigenizing mean?

Indigenization of the academy honours Aboriginal peoples ways of knowing in the curriculum, in research, in responsive programming, and in the relationships with communities. Indigenizing is an institutional response directed to reconciliation, to decolonization of education, and to actively engage efforts to support post-secondary Aboriginal Education.

The term developed in part, from Indigenizing the Academy Gathering conference in 2012 and initiatives in international and national post-secondary institutions. The term is applied within the Universities Canada Principles on Indigenous Education.

University Canada principles on Indigenous education. 2015.

How were the five goals decided upon?

The goals were developed in early 2014 by an Aboriginal Steering Committee tasked to develop The Strategic Planning Framework, May 2014. This group created the framework that would provide direction for the creation of the Aboriginal Strategic Plan. The committee developed the goals by formulating guiding principles of Indigenous education through reviewing research and practice.

How were the committees that formulated the strategies formed?

In the fall of 2014, an Aboriginal Steering Committee (chaired by the provost and vice-president student affairs and campus life), formed the President’s Aboriginal Advisory Council. Advice and direction was sought from the council that is composed of secondary and post-secondary Aboriginal educators and elders.

An all-users email was sent out requesting participation in strategic planning. The five committees were formed by the goal chairs who selected a group of staff and students from the pool of over ninety respondents.

How have elders been involved in the process?

There are elders on the President’s Aboriginal Advisory Council and the Council reviewed the draft Aboriginal Strategic Plan in June, 2015. A pipe ceremony was held in March 2015 to initiate the strategic planning and was attended by staff and students.

Does the development of the Aboriginal Strategic Plan rely on external funding?

This is a Mount Royal University initiative that sponsored by the office of the Provost and co-sponsored by the Vice President, Student Affairs and Campus Life. The development does not have external funding components.

How does the Aboriginal Strategic Plan relate to the Strategic Plan 2025?

The Aboriginal Strategic Plan will support Mount Royal in engagement with current and potential Aboriginal students as stated in goal 2 and in fulfilling strategy 9.1 of the Institutional Strategic Plan.

Goal 2: Foster a Sense of Belonging among Students

Page 11, Learning Together, Leading Together: Mount Royal University’s Strategic Plan 2025

Strategy 9.1: We will enhance our partnerships with Aboriginal communities, thereby fostering an engagement with current and potential Aboriginal students, enabling greater success in our dedicated recruitment initiatives and specialized retention strategies.

Page 26, Learning Together, Leading Together: Mount Royal University’s Strategic Plan 2025