You are now in the main content area

About the IEC

The Indigenous Education Council (formerly the Aboriginal Education Council) at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) was launched on October 6, 2010 at a community celebration. At the event, the university presented a statement acknowledging the connection between Egerton Ryerson (the university’s former namesake) and Indian Residential Schools. 

The University recognizes Treaty 13 and acknowledges the Dish with One Spoon while supporting Indigenous students’ post-secondary education.

The Indigenous Education Council (IEC) serves as an advisory council, with input into, and impact on, Indigenous programming and education at TMU. While grounded in existing structures, the Council represents a departure from standard models at TMU, so that it can include Indigenous knowledges and values in its operations.

 (PDF file) Read the terms of Reference of the Indigenous Education Council.

The council provides guidance and direction for embedding Indigenous knowledges and other content across the University by providing supports for educational departments in curriculum development and program review, staff and faculty recruitment, as well as research support. The IEC promotes Indigenous leadership and engagement in decision-making that involves all areas of Indigenous education throughout TMU, while enhancing and expanding current activities and partnerships within the University and the Indigenous community in Toronto and developing further connections between the two. Creating a model that other universities can adapt in their endeavours to support Indigenous Peoples within their institutions.

Egerton Ryerson and Indian Residential Schools

Egerton Ryerson supported free and compulsory education, he also believed in different systems of education for Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. These beliefs influenced, in part, the establishment of what became the Indian Residential School system that has had such a devastating impact on First Nations, Métis and Inuit people across Canada. While Egerton Ryerson did not implement or oversee Indian Residential Schools, his ideas were used by others to create their blueprint. It is important to acknowledge this connection and in so doing emphasize the university’s ongoing and proactive commitment to respectful relationships with Indigenous communities, both within and outside Toronto Metropolitan University, and to continuing to build and maintain a campus environment that welcomes and respects Indigenous Peoples.

 (PDF file) Learn about the life and legacy of Egerton Ryerson.

Protrait of Egerton Ryerson

Egerton Ryerson Plaque Unveiling

The plaque was first unveiled in January 2018. The Indigenous Education Council, the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion, and the Toronto Metropolitan University community, including students, were involved in the formal installation at a public event on June 25, held on Gould Street beneath the statue.

The plaque reads:

"This plaque serves as a reminder of TMU's commitment to moving forward in the spirit of truth and reconciliation. Egerton Ryerson is widely known for his contributions to Ontario's public educational system. As Chief Superintendent of Education, TMU’s recommendations were instrumental in the design and implementation of the Indian Residential School System. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reported that children in the schools were subjected to unthinkable abuse and neglect, to medical experimentation, punishment for the practice of cultures or languages and death. The aim of the Residential School System was cultural genocide."

Read the full story of the plaque unveiling here.

A man and a woman standing on either side of a plaque

The Indigenous Education Council (IEC) membership is primarily comprised of Indigenous  students, faculty and staff representatives from Toronto Metropolitan University from departments across campus, which include: Indigenous Student Services and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives as part of the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion; the School of Social Work and Human Resources.

The Council also includes members and partners from key areas on campus including the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Student Affairs (SA), Admissions and Recruitment. There are also external partners in Toronto's Indigenous community from the First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI), the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Toronto York Region Metis Council (TYRMC) and other community organizations.


Joanne (Okimawininew) Dallaire | Elder (Ke Shay Hayo) and Senior Advisor, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation 

Active members

  • Monica McKay | Director, Office of Indigenous Initiatives
  • Tracey King Miigis Qwe (Little Shell Woman) | Indigenous Human Resources Lead (On Leave)
  • Allison Urowitz | Executive Director, Advancement
  • Amy Desjarlais | Lead, Rebirthed Teachings , Office of Indigenous Initiatives 
  • Christa Hinds | PhD, CHRL, Manager, Human Resources Strategic Partnerships, HR Strategic Partnerships & Labour Relations
  • Curtis Maloley | Educational Developer, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching 
  • Dr. Pamela Palmater | Professor, Chair in Indigenous Governance, Department of Politics & Public Administration
  • Shane Young | Assistant Professor, School of Social Work and Interim Academic Coordinator, Certificate in Indigenous Knowledges and Experiences
  • Evan Accettola | Student, Sociology/Criminology | Infinite Reach Facilitator - Métis Nation of Ontario
  • Karina Brant | Student, School of Social Work (BSW)
  • James McKay | Manager, Talent Acquisition and Immigration Support Services, Human Resources
  • Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano | Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic
  • Scott Sunday | Indigenous Program Coordinator, Human Resources
  • Tony Conte | Interim Executive Director, Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic
  • Micheal Mihalcz | Indigenous Advisor, Office of the Dean, TRSM | Assistant Professor, Entrepreneurship and Strategy
  • Caleb Wesley | Coordinator Indigenous Knowledge & Science Outreach, Faculty of Science
  • Tanya (Toni) De Mello | Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion
  • Scott Franks | Acting Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law
  • Ahmed Ahmed | Interim Executive Director, Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion
  • Cher Trudeau | Administrative Coordinator, Indigenous Education Council
  • Robin Parr | Registrar
  • Brooke Filsinger | Indigenous Advisor to the Dean of the Faculty of Science and PhD student
Year Recipients
2021 Tanya Talaga
2018 Alanis Obomsawin | Filmmaker, artist and activist
2017 Cindy Blackstock | Activist and Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society  
2013 Honorable Justice Murray Sinclair | Canadian Senator, First Nations lawyer and Chairman of the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission
2012 Shawn Atleo | Former National Chief, Assembly of First Nations (2009 to 2014)
  • Joanne (Okimawininew) Dallaire | Elder (Ke Shay Hayo) and Senior Advisor, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; Chair, Indigenous Education Council;  traditional healer and pipe carrier
  • Phil Fontaine | Former National Chief, Assembly of First Nations (1997 to 2000)
2005 Honorable James K. Bartleman | Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Visit the TMU  Honorary Doctorate page for a full list of the notable Canadians who have received an honorary degree from Toronto Metropolitan University.