To advance UCN’s reconciliation mandate, Academic Development and the Truth and Reconciliation Steering Committee began by developing understandings of key terms. Definitions of reconciliation, indigenization, decolonization, and indigegogy are provided below.


  • Requires a rejection of paternalistic and racist foundational systems that govern society by learning and understanding historical events that have created havoc on Indigenous communities and peoples.
  • Depends on building and developing ongoing, mutual, reciprocal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is center.
  • Strives for the creation of a shared vision is imperative so that future generations have the opportunity to live in a fair and equitable life.


  • Is a collaborative process of naturalizing Indigenous content, interactions and processes to transform spaces, places, and hearts. Indigenous ways of knowing and doing are perceived and practiced as equal to Western ways of knowing and doing
  • Source:  Pulling Together: A Guide for Front-Line Staff, Student Services, and Advisors by Ian Cull, Robert L. A. Hancock, Stephanie McKeown, Michelle Pidgeon, and Adrienne Vedan is used under a CC BY-NC 4.0 licence. 


  • Is the process of deconstructing colonial ideologies of the superiority and privilege of Western thought and approaches
  • Involves dismantling structures that perpetuate the status quo and addressing imbalances in power dynamics
  • Involves valuing and revitalizing Indigenous knowledges and approaches and weeding out settler biases or assumptions that have impacted Indigenous ways of being
  • Necessitates shifting our frames of reference with regard to the knowledge we hold; examining how we have arrived at such knowledge; and considering what we need to do to change misconceptions, prejudice, and assumptions about Indigenous peoples
  • Source:  Pulling Together: A Guide for Curriculum Developers by Asma-na-hi Antoine, Rachel Mason, Roberta Mason, Sophia Palahicky, and Carmen Rodriguez de France is used under a CC BY-NC 4.0 licence. 


  • Uses Indigenous knowledge, literature and scholarship and is centred on land-based education. Indigegogy engages Indigenous methodology such as circle work and lifts up traditional teachings, ceremonies and practices. Indigegogy is a decolonizing practice that builds on the resurgence of Indigenous ways of knowing, teaching and learning. (Laurier, Wilson)
  • Source: Laurier Centre for Indigegogy. (2021). What is Indigegogy?

Connecting Reconciliation, Indigenization, Decolonization and Indigegogy

Reconciliation is achieved through indigenization. Indigenization is achieved through the institution’s adoption of decolonizing processes and ideology and the implementation of indigegogy across the organization.



TR Gathering Purpose, Objectives and Aims.

The Truth and Reconciliation Gathering Conference is an annual event hosted by the University College of the North (UCN). Since the initial release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report in 2015, Canadian government, educational institutions, community organizations and Canadian have a responsibility in repairing the harms caused by residential school.

The 6th annual conference theme is “Honouring the Children” which came about with the recent findings of unmarked graves at the site of former residential schools across Canada. Many people reacted with astonishment when the unmarked graves of 215 children were located at the Kamloops Residential School site. This discovery has resulted in a countrywide discussion of residential schools – some discussions are sympathetic and question how the government of Canada could hide such a thing, while others discussions still deny the brutal realties of the institutions.

The conference objectives aims to honour the unmarked graves and seek to promote ongoing conversation about the IRS system and its legacy. Even though the conference’s main purpose is to be in accordance with UCN’s mission and vision statement and adhere to UCN’s 2020-2025 Academic and Research Plan, Reconciliation plan, (2020 gatherings objectives) the conference objectives will go further by;

- ensuring the conversation of residential schools continues to unfold hidden truths that impact Aboriginal communities and peoples.

- creating an awareness of social impacts that are a direct result of colonization with an emphasis on residential schools.

- focusing on the impacts that residential schools, with particular emphasis of the unmarked graves, had and continues to have on Aboriginal peoples and communities.

The conference aims to:

- provide resources that speak to teaching and learning about the historical and contemporary impacts of residential schools.

- support peoples and communities in the healing process from the trauma brought by the residential school era and the recent findings of the unmarked graves.

- include youth voices to the conversation that will contribute to moving toward reconciliation.