Council on Aboriginal Initiatives
The formation of the Council on Aboriginal
Initiatives was the brainchild of our Provost, Dr. Carl Amrhein along with our (then) Chancellor, Dr. Eric Newell. Beginning as a working group and moving
quickly into a 60-member Council on Aboriginal Initiatives, the CAI meets at
least year times and has a steering committee of eight which also meets four
times per year. The genius of the
CAI, is that it’s members are incredibly diverse, we have representation from
five Aboriginal student groups, faculty members from Native Studies, Education,
Law, Medicine & Dentistry, and Family Medicine to name a few. The group also includes members of
Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal post secondary institutions, members of the
Senate and City of Edmonton employees.
This diverse group allows for incredibly rich and expansive discussions
and opens up a space for meaningful and consultative dialogue. The CAI has been faced with many
challenging decisions effecting Aboriginal initiatives on campus and with
relationships with communities off campus. We have touched on such sensitive topics as honourariums and
protocol with Elders, and conflicts with traditional ceremonies. Through these conversations, we
have developed of a guideline booklet that holds a consistent set of principles
that enables people from the University community to respectfully connect with
Elders and members of the community.
on Aboriginal Initiatives
Terms of Reference
Mandate/Terms of Reference:
aim of the Council on Aboriginal Initiatives (CAI) is to provide a voice
dedicated to the interests of the Aboriginal community at the University of
Alberta. To this end, this
document of ‘Mandate/Terms of Reference’ has been created for the Council to
follow as a guideline. The CAI
1. On its own initiative or on referral by
other agencies and individuals acts as a forum to discuss issues and formulate
recommendations to the Provost related to Aboriginal education that both
promote the objectives and mission of the University of Alberta and represent
the best interests of Aboriginal students.
2. Foster open and constructive dialogue
on all issues, especially on those where conflict may be perceived by some
members between university objectives and the best interests of Aboriginal
Guide and encourage the university community in the incorporation of Indigenous
knowledge and cultural appropriateness in its programs, thereby encouraging
honour and respect for all Aboriginal peoples.
Ensure communication and cooperation among all offices and organizations that provide
services affecting the university’s Aboriginal community.
5. Foster collaboration between University
of Alberta researchers and Aboriginal communities by helping to build mutual
understanding and confidence between Aboriginal communities and university
researchers in order to identify critical Aboriginal research priorities.
6. Examine existing University policies and practices to determine the degree
to which they respect, honour, and support the contributions of Aboriginal
knowledge and peoples in the University community.
7. Upon the request of a sponsor or
referral from GFC, considers and provides advice on program proposals to
university administrators, student groups, and student governments which might
affect or enhance the quality of Aboriginal student life.
8. Identify opportunities for
University of Alberta units to partner with other institutions or organizations
in the delivery of Aboriginal teaching, learning or research endeavors together
with associated service programming, and provide counsel on those endeavors and
partnerships if so requested.
9. Foster discussions related to the
transferability of courses and programs of interest to Aboriginal learners,
acknowledging and including the mandate and work of the Alberta Council on
Admissions and Transfer (ACAT).
10. Function on the understanding and
principle that Aboriginal peoples can best define how to successfully fulfill
the terms of reference contained in this document and will work diligently with
University of Alberta personnel to achieve this end.
Assist the university in gathering the appropriate data so as to identify
12. Promote the university’s programs and
services in the Aboriginal community and recommends recruitment, application
and admission strategies to better engage and retain Aboriginal students
through appropriate university bodies.
13. Develop strategies with the Dean of
Students, Dean of FGSR, and the Registrar to ensure more complete
self-reporting of Aboriginal status is achieved.
14. Review terms of reference on a biennial
basis to ensure they continue to meet the needs of the Council on Aboriginal
Initiatives and the communities with which they engage.
- Provost (Co-Chair)
- Chancellor (Co-Chair)
- 4 Deans (Education, Native Studies, Augustana,
- Vice-Provosts (Chief Librarian, Dean of
Students, University Registrar)
- Members of the Senate and Senate Alumni, as
selected by the Senate
- Students (Graduate Student, Undergraduate
Student and a representative from Aboriginal Students’ Council)
- Representatives (no less than two) from existing
and active University of Alberta Aboriginal initiatives (for example, UAAAC,
ATEP, CILLDI, ACADRE, other)
- Staff representatives (Coordinator, Aboriginal
- Other representatives as deemed appropriate by
- Resource to the Council – Office of the Provost
Council will meet not less than three times per year at mutually scheduled
Agendas will be managed by the co-chairs. Normally,
materials shall be circulated in advance to all members. In the case of urgent and important
items that have not been placed on the agenda in advance, these may be added to
the agenda on the determination of the chair.
The Office of the Provost will provide secretarial
support to the committee.
The Office of the Provost and Vice-President
(Academic) will hold official records of the committee’s deliberations. The records of the Committee will be
subject to the provincial FOIPP legislation and comply with the records
retention schedule of the Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic).