Widening the Circle: Indigenizing Universities and Academic Research

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Since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada issued its 94 Calls to Action in 2015, most Canadian universities have committed to “Indigenization,” including the University of Ottawa through its Indigenous Action Plan, and Transformation 2030 strategic plan. The impact of this pledge, however, has been quite limited, higher education institutions having tended to approach Indigenization as “conditional inclusion” (Gaudry & Lorenz 2018). From this perspective, Indigenous perspectives are to remain excluded, or forced into existing academic disciplines, so as to consolidate instead of disrupt Euro-Canadian philosophies’ claim to universality (Battiste 2013) and institutional whiteness (Ahmed 2012).

In this workshop, we will first draw on our own experience in Indigenizing research on implementing an Indigenization initiative in the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences, to identify some of the challenges face while attempting to promote a more decolonial form of Indigenization, one anchored in Anishinaabeg territory and sovereignty. As a way to provide you with a hands-on experience of the sharing circle as an Indigenous research methodology, we will then invite participants to share how our observations resonate with their own experiences. In doing so, we will encourage our colleagues and students to reflect on the differentiated responsibilities we are all called upon to assume from our diverse positionalities to further the decolonization of academia.


  • Catherine Dussault, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology, Université Laval
  • Marc Molgat, Professor, School of Social Work, University of Ottawa
  • Mona Tolley, Lead Indigenous Education Advisor, University of Ottawa
  • Karine Vanthuyne, Associate Professor, School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies, University of Ottawa

* Bilingual activity. 
** An event organized by the University of Ottawa’s Chair in University Teaching on Indigenizing Higher Education and the Laboratory for Engaged Research.

Event details

Start date Friday, February 23, 2024 - 10:00
End date Friday, February 23, 2024 - 12:00
Duration 120 min
Cut off date Friday, February 23, 2024 - 09:00
Registered 33
Seats 47
Organizer External organization
Language Bilingual event
Delivery mode In-person only
Location Faculty of Social Sciences - Room FSS 4007

We are no longer accepting registration for this event