UPEI President announces Indigenous Advisory Council
The University of Prince Edward Island took further steps today to honour the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report when President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz announced plans for an Indigenous advisory group.
“UPEI is committed to being fully aware of the role our institution must play in promoting a better understanding of Aboriginal history and culture, and supporting respectful relationships based on mutual understanding with members of our Indigenous community,” said President Abd-El-Aziz. “We must ensure that the perspectives of our Indigenous Peoples are included in the governance of the University.”
The purpose of the President’s Indigenous Advisory Council is to guide, advise, and support the overall direction to be undertaken by UPEI to indigenize the campus and contribute to the reconciliation process through higher learning.
Members include Brian Francis, Chief of Abegweit First Nation; Matilda Ramjattan, Chief of Lennox Island First Nation; Lisa Cooper, President and Chief of the Native Council of PEI; Judith Clark, UPEI Elder-in-Residence and President, Aboriginal Women’s Association of Prince Edward Island; Payton Jadis, President, UPEI Aboriginal Student Association; Robert Gilmour Jr., UPEI Vice-President Academic and Research; and Jackie Podger, Vice-President Administration and Finance.
“This Council,” added President Abd-El-Aziz, “will explore ideas and develop initiatives that enable the campus to change attitudes and open opportunities so that Indigenous students at UPEI are welcomed and can thrive and achieve high levels of academic and personal success.”
The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.