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Action Plan

Action Plan

The Next Chapter action plan is a living document that will adjust, strengthen and respond to the evolving needs of our community over time. It will remain aligned with our institutional values and our commitment to being bold, inclusive, dedicated to excellence, collaborative and sustainable. This plan reflects conversations across our campus about the work and opportunities that lay ahead of us where employees, students and other community members have brought forward ideas, guidance and a sense of optimism for our Next Chapter.

Executive and functional leadership has been identified to support and advance Next Chapter initiatives. Where possible and appropriate, we are embedding the initiatives in pre-existing processes and structures across the university and maintaining the established functional accountabilities, responsibilities and approval frameworks. Where necessary though, working groups, committees, and new methods of approaching our work will be established. 

Implementation Initiatives

Recommendations 1-3

1

The university adopt the following principles of commemoration, which shall be embodied with purpose and advanced with courage to ensure that decisions about commemoration are made with integrity:

  • Transparency
  • Respectful collaboration
  • Purposeful representation 
  • Truth and Reconciliation 
  • Humility and continuous learning
2

The university develops a policy and accompanying procedures to provide guidelines and clarify responsibilities for decisions about commemoration that align with the principles of commemoration. 

3

The university establishes a standing committee that:

  • Reviews proposals and makes recommendations to decision-makers about commemoration and naming at the university; and 
  • Reviews existing forms of commemoration when necessary to ensure they are aligned with the principles of commemoration.

Initiatives

The University has appointed a Policy Working Group, tasked with the development of a policy and accompanying procedures. With insight from a Policy Advisory Group and targetted consultation with key stakeholders across campus, the Working Group will develop guidelines and clarify responsibilities that operationalize the principles of commemoration

Once approved by the Board of Governors, the policy will establish a standing committee that:

  • Reviews proposals and makes recommendations to decision-makers about commemoration and naming at the university; and,
  • Reviews existing forms of commemoration when necessary to ensure they are aligned with the principles of commemoration.

Recommendations 4-6

4 The university renames the institution in a process that engages with community members and university stakeholders.
5 The university not reinstall, restore or replace the statue of Egerton Ryerson, and instead initiate an open call for proposals for the rehoming of the remaining pieces of the statue to promote educational initiatives.
6 The university reconsiders the “Eggy” mascot.

Initiatives

Recognizing the harm experienced by the ongoing commemoration of Egerton Ryerson and the impossibility of upholding our institutional values while commemorating a colonial figure, the university has been renamed, the remains of the statue of Egerton Ryerson will be rehomed, and the mascot will be reconsidered. 

In Fall 2021, the renaming process began. The University Renaming Advisory Committee led an engagement period that heard from over 30,000 community members who shared their perspectives and ideas about what the new name could be. To reach a shortlist of possible names, the committee developed community-informed parameters by which to consider the proposed names and checked to ensure they were legally ownable and passed a series of linguistics and digital asset checks that consider how the name might be perceived in different languages and at an international level. The shortlist was presented to President Lachemi who selected a name to recommend for approval. Following approval from the Board of Governors, the new name was announced on April 26, 2022. 

The university will determine a process to identify a new home for the remains of the Egerton Ryerson statue. 

The university will now proceed with a review and consultation process to reconsider the university mascot.

Recommendations 7-10

7

The university share materials to recognize the legacy of Egerton Ryerson through: 

  • The establishment of a physical and interactive display that provides comprehensive and accessible information about the legacy of Egerton Ryerson and the period in which he was commemorated by the university. 
  • The creation of a website that disseminates the Task Force’s historical research findings about Egerton Ryerson’s life and legacy. 
  • The development of a brief informational video that provides historical information about Egerton Ryerson’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples, his relationship with the Ontario school system, and his role in the development of residential schools. 
  • The identification of archives housed at other institutions to increase the accessibility of materials related to Egerton Ryerson.
8

The university continue to share materials to recognize the rich history of the university.

9

The university develop a plan to ensure all academic programs contain mandatory learning opportunities about Indigenous history and Indigenous and colonial relations for all students.

10

The university create and require all faculty and staff to complete a training or education module about Indigenous history and about  Indigenous and colonial relations and the Indian Residential School System.

Initiatives

The university has a responsibility to ensure that there are opportunities for community members to educate themselves through the dissemination of scholarly material, and to engage in discussions

Building on materials and contents that are housed by the university archives, physical and digital installations will be developed to disseminate comprehensive and accessible information about the PDF filelife and legacy of Egerton Ryerson. Content will include but is not limited to, his relationship with Indigenous Peoples, his contributions to the Ontario public school system and other long-standing institutions across the province, the context within which his work was done, and the impact of decisions made under his leadership. 

As we transition to a new name, we will continue to connect with our past by working with university archives, alumni, and community members. We will generate and share stories that tell the rich history of our university. 

Working with faculty and leaders across all academic programs, and in accordance with the appropriate university policies and procedures, we will explore options to establish opportunities for students to learn about Indigenous history and Indigenous and colonial relations in meaningful ways.

The university will also establish learning programs to equip faculty and staff with knowledge of Indigenous history, Indigenous and colonial relations and the Indian Residential School System.

Recommendations 11-13

11

The university further explore the feasibility of academic units for Indigenous Studies and Black Studies. 

12

The university strengthen efforts to recruit, retain and promote faculty and staff who self-identify as Indigenous and/or Black.

13

The university establish additional substantial and sustainable funding programs for:

  • Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students
  • Black undergraduate and graduate students
  • Indigenous post-doctoral fellows
  • Black post-doctoral fellows

Initiatives

Following the announcement of the soon-to-be-launched Black Studies minor, the university continues to explore the feasibility of academic units for Indigenous Studies and Black Studies. 

Data collected through the Staff Applicant Diversity Self-ID (launched in May 2021) will help the university to identify where barriers exist in our recruitment process, create strategies to address them and measure our success over time. The university will continue to strengthen efforts to recruit, retain and promote faculty and staff who self-identify as Indigenous and/or Black.

The university has made dismantling all forms of anti-Black racism and oppression a strategic priority. In February 2022, the Confronting Anti-Black Racism website has been launched to serve as a hub for updates and resources on the implementation progress of the 14 recommendations of the Anti-Black Racism Review Report. 

In recent years a number of new funding opportunities have been established to increase access to higher education and to recognize the excellence of Indigenous and Black students across the university. Some notable additions include the Black and Indigenous Engineering Fellowships (launched in 2021), The Julie Patel Foundation Award (launched in 2022) and the Johnson Scholarship Foundation grant (announced in 2021). University Advancement will continue to pursue new funding sources for additional scholarships, awards and bursaries for Indigenous and Black students and fellows. 

Recommendations 14-16

14

The university develop a community-based, interactive public art installation space in a prominent location on campus. 

15

The university establish a space on campus where an accessible garden can be planted for the long-term growth of traditional Indigenous medicines.

16

The university plan ceremonies for community members’ healing and closure at the former site of the statue of Egerton Ryerson.

Initiatives

Working with the university’s existing Public Art Committee and the Indigenous Space Sub-Working Group, the university will determine a location on campus for a community-based, interactive public art installation space. 

In addition to previously initiated projects on campus such as the Urban Farm Indigenous Foodways Pilot and Ted Rogers School of Management Indigenous Healing Garden, the Indigenous Space Sub-Working Group and the Urban Farm will continue to provide guidance and direction towards the further establishment of spaces on campus where accessible gardens can be planted for the long-term growth of traditional Indigenous medicines.

As we return to campus, a series of ceremonies will be planned for community members to come together at the former site of the statue of Egerton Ryerson. 

Recommendations 17 & 18

17 The university consider a new university-wide protocol for land acknowledgements in consultation with community members.
18

The university develops educational materials and opportunities for all community members to learn about land acknowledgements.

Initiatives

Through a process of community engagement with key stakeholders including the Aboriginal Education Council, Indigenous students and employees, and external partners, we will embark on critical conversations about the university-wide protocol for land acknowledgments and related education.

Recommendation 19

19 The university provide an update to the community about the implementation of recommendations contained in the 2018 Truth and Reconciliation Community Consultation Summary Report and the 2020 Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review Report.  

Initiatives

To repair relationships with Black and Indigenous community members, the University must demonstrate its commitment to advancing Truth and Reconciliation and addressing Anti-Black racism. 

By the end of the winter 2022 term, an update will be shared regarding the progress of implementing recommendations put forward in the 2018 Truth and Reconciliation Community Consultation Summary Report.   

In February 2021 an update from the Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism shared the progress made in addressing the recommendations from the PDF fileAnti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review Report.

The university has made dismantling all forms of anti-Black racism and oppression a strategic priority. In February 2022, the Confronting Anti-Black Racism website has been launched to serve as a hub for updates and resources on the implementation progress of the 14 recommendations of the Anti-Black Racism Review Report. 

Recommendations 20-22

20

The university develop an action plan by January 31, 2022 to address and implement all of the Task Force’s recommendations.

21

The university provide sufficient resources (both financial and administrative) to support, track and review the implementation of these recommendations. 

22 The university provide annual updates to the community about the implementation of these recommendations.

Initiatives

The university fulfilled the commitment to share the action plan that outlines the implementation initiatives for all Task Force recommendations. 

Regular updates will be provided on this website about the progress and plans of the implementation work. Annual update reports will be shared with the community beginning in September 2022.

Values in Action

Unapologetically bold

We are committed to finding agreement between our actions and our values. We will engage in difficult conversations and make difficult decisions. 

Intentionally diverse and inclusive

Intentional leadership and engagement within our processes will reflect our understanding of those who are most impacted by particular initiatives. 

Dedicated to excellence

Behind all initiatives is a commitment to excellence. While some initiatives will happen sooner or seemingly faster than others, that is not an indicator of prioritization. 

Respectfully collaborative

Leaders will collaborate with key stakeholders through formal and informal partnerships, community consultation and engagement, and resource sharing to maximize impact.

Champion of sustainability

The university will make decisions that aim to balance our financial resources, human resources, and responsibility to the environment for long lasting impact.

Standing Strong Task Force

In Fall 2020, President Lachemi established the Standing Strong Task Force to develop principles to guide commemoration at the university, and to respond to the history and legacy of Egerton Ryerson within the context of the university’s values. The PDF fileStanding Strong Task Force Report and Recommendations: Acknowledging the past, learning from the present, looking to the future captures the work of the Task Force from November 2020 - August 2021, including an in-depth historical research project, and two-month community engagement period.

In August 2021, the University’s Board of Governors committed to the implementation of all 22 recommendations from the Standing Strong Task Force to address the legacy of Egerton Ryerson and establish principles to guide commemoration across campus. In recognition of the need for transparent process and institutional accountability, the action plan below provides a high level overview of each of the recommendations along with the related implementation initiatives including plans, updates and opportunities for community involvement.