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Beyond the Surface: The essential role of university staff in transformational reconciliation policy in higher education
- Author(s) / Creator(s)
The work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) pushed Canada into an era of
‘reconciliation’ and higher education institutions have indicated their desire to respond towards
the elusive goal of reconciliation. The TRC report elicited a change to the narrative being used in
higher education, shifting the policy focus from one solely based on inclusion, to the
consideration of a more transformational goal of reconciliation. The shift spurred an expanded
policy audience with reconciliation requiring equal participation from non-Indigenous people.
Staff from all corners of campus have found themselves interacting with reconciliation policy.
Despite these developments, conceptualization of reconciliation has remained elusive and
progress is likely to remain limited given the unshakable foundation of colonialism in the higher
education sector. With no concrete answers of how university staff can work in contribution to
reconciliation, this paper culminates with an exploration of questions and tensions.
The case study of alumni relations is used to provide a more specific and thorough examination;
however, the process is intended to be applicable to other areas within the university.
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- Research Material