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Aboriginal Student Services has a new name: Gdoo-maawnjidimi Mompii “We Gather Here” Indigenous Student Services

June 15, 2023

Following the university's renaming in April 2022, the office formerly known as Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services (RASS) needed a new name that would represent the vision, values and programs of the department that serves Indigenous students at TMU.  

In Fall 2022, the office surveyed and consulted Indigenous students to gather suggestions for a new name that would also serve as the name of a new Indigenous Student Centre to be opened in January 2024. After careful consideration and dialogue, a new name for the office and student centre was selected: ‘We Gather Here.’

Consultations and dialogues with community members also confirmed that many students, staff and faculty members wished to replace the term 'Aboriginal' with 'Indigenous' and refer to the office as Indigenous Student Services going forward. 

The significance of ‘We Gather Here’ 

The new name symbolizes how the office as well as the new Indigenous Student Centre brings together Indigenous community members (First Nation, Metis, Inuit, status and non-status) to access support services, programs and the student centre under one roof. 

A classroom is included in the Indigenous Student Centre, where Indigenous faculty and contract lecturers can teach courses. The centre will also host the Indigenous Foundations program, cultural activities, teachings, workshops and knowledge sharing circles.

“Our new name refers to the sense of belonging and presence of Indigenous people at the university, or any institution for that matter. With this new name, we wish to reinforce that prior to colonization, Indigenous people gathered here for trade because of the waterways, for ceremony and had their seasonal camps. The name also reinforces that we are a community that gathers to appreciate and celebrate the different pathways that have led us to this point,” said Brian Norton, manager of We Gather Here, Indigenous Student Services.

The new name has been translated into three Indigenous languages, with the primary name being the Anishinaabemowin translation.

Anishnaabemowin translation:

Gdoo-maawnjidimi Mompii (inclusive to whom you are speaking to)
Phonetically: g-dough mawn jee dee meh mom pee
Translation provided by Isadore Toulouse

Cree translation:

Nimah Ma Hoottinahn, Ohh Ta.  
Phonetically: Nee Maa moo he don an Whoo tah 
Syllabic - ᑭᒪᐧᐊᒋᐃᑐᓇᓇ˚ ᐅᑕ
Translation provided by Allan Okitchiquo

Haudenosaunee translation:

Tsi Yeya'tarorokstáhkwa (at the meeting place)
Phonetically: Gee Yay-ya-dah-lrohnk-SDAH-gwah
Translation provided by Tehahenteh Frank Miller