This is an historic moment for Concordia University.
As Provost and Vice-President, Academic, it's been my privilege to witness the development of our Indigenous Directions Action Plan. The idea for the Plan was originally conceived as Concordia's response to the Calls to Action and Principles of Reconciliation of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. But this document goes further, differentiating Concordia from how other higher education institutions have approached this important work in Québec and across Canada. It reflects who we are, capturing our spirit as an action-oriented, community-minded university.
I want to express a deep debt of gratitude to all past and current members of the Indigenous Directions Leadership Group who are the collective authors of this Plan. Their work was demanding, complex and often intensely personal. It involved extensive consultations with Indigenous students and alumni, staff and faculty, as well as external community partners and advisors. It required much reflection, much discussion, and thoughtful, deliberate crafting. The Plan sets clear directions on how we, the Concordia community, should undertake our collective work of decolonizing and Indigenizing our university. It is called an Action Plan for a reason and our responsibility going forward is to make good not just on what it recommends, but also on what it intends.
The Action Plan marks the beginning of what will be a continuous voyage for Concordia. It is a living document that will be further enriched over time by experience, by practice and through learning. I sincerely hope that the Plan will also signal to others our aspiration to be a place where Indigenous Peoples, knowledges and languages can thrive, where diversity is valued as a source of understanding our society and ourselves.
The Indigenous Directions Action Plan is part of what makes us a next generation university. The task of executing it should inspire us to take pride.
Graham Carr, past Provost & Vice-President, Academic