Indigenous History Month Statement from Dr. Hart

A message from Vice-Provost Dr. Michael Hart:


With June being National Indigenous History Month, the University of Calgary continues to make a commitment to change. Through ii’ taa’poh’to’p, UCalgary’s Indigenous Strategy, we have tasked ourselves at all levels to educate, to remember and to heal. We are addressing how and what we teach. We are working with Indigenous students, staff, scholars and community members. Indigenous History Month is an opportunity to learn; it is also an opportunity for each person, each unit of the university to add to the actions we have initiated. Reconciliation is about coming to know how to take transformative action, as an institution, units within and people.

The University of Calgary is honoured to host multiple events throughout June that respectfully educate our campus community on Indigenous History. Ways of Knowing, one of the four visionary circles of ii’ taa’poh’to’p, reflects on the teaching, learning and research components of Indigenous cultures. The Meaning of Round Dance event taking place later this month will not only teach us, but remind us of the importance of having Round Dance, with perspectives from Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers in Treaty 7. The Sacred Bundles Unborn Book Launch and Art Exhibit, hosted by the Taylor Institute, looks at the tragic forced and coerced sterilization of Indigenous women in Canada. While some stories are both devastating and unacceptable, hearing these stories is paramount to creating the change needed to continue to reconcile. UCalgary’s Campfire Chats event is a testament to this. Celebrated annually, Campfire Chats celebrates Indigenous culture through oral storytelling, such as this year’s panel discussion on the Buffalo Treaty. UCalgary’s participation in transformative reconciliation continues to grow with each opportunity of community engagement, and it is vital to continue supporting the significance of UCalgary walking a parallel path with Indigenous communities.

With these events, as well as those taking place nationally, take and create these opportunities to learn and teach about Indigenous histories, and enact transformation within ourselves individually, our units and our institution. I encourage everyone in the University of Calgary community to continue to learn, remember and heal on the journey to walking a parallel path.

Dr. Michael Hart, PhD

Vice-Provost (Indigenous Engagement)