Deploying Intelligence and Cultural Competencies of One’s Environment through the Indigenization and Decolonization of an Institution – the Example of Collège Ahuntsic (F/SI)

April 27, 2021 | 1:15 - 2:00

Track: Governing Excellence

The indigenization of colleges and institutes can and must take tangible and intelligible forms. At Collège Ahuntsic, the deployment of an institutional cultural intelligence and related actions initially made it possible to address a sensitive case of cultural appropriation, and to subsequently engage openly in a broader process of reparation aimed at genuinely reconstructing ties with the First Peoples.

The first example discussed in this session will consolidate the steps taken in the process of changing the name and logo of our sports teams (from Indians to Eagles). In such a culturally sensitive context, what triggered the awareness, the choice to act, and the subsequent setting in motion of all the players affected by this significant change? This story will present some illustrations of good practices, highlight the resistance encountered in the environment and explain the adjustments that were needed to respect the particularities of the different groups involved.

The second part will focus more on the evolution of the links between the name and logo change process and the establishment of a space for sharing practices in indigenization of education (Espace de partage de pratiques en autochtonisation de l’éducation in its French name), which was established together with aboriginal partners.

How can we avoid the colonial reflex of substituting First Nations and Inuit in establishing guidelines for an indigenization process? What should be the roles and position of individuals and organizations that present themselves as allies of First Peoples? How can we initiate change in our environment while recognizing the different power dynamics underlying the relationships that are expressed in it?

Session Speakers

Julie Gauthier

Faculty, Anthropology and Geography

Collège Ahuntsic

Nathalie Vallée

Director General

Collège Ahuntsic

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