File photo: First Nations House. Iris Robin/THE VARSITY

The Steering Committee for the U of T Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its interim report on July 7.

The report states the primary work of the Committee is to “make recommendations regarding how the University community can implement the TRC Calls to Action, in alignment with the University of Toronto’s mandate and mission.”

No formal recommendations have been made yet; the report describes the committee’s work thus far, including the creation of working groups and “Indigenous-themed programs and initiatives across the University of Toronto.” These university-wide initiatives include scholarships, bursaries, and awards specifically given to Indigenous students, and bolstering the Transitional Year Programme, which aids Indigenous students in gaining access to resources at the university.

The report includes an analysis of each faculty of the university. It outlines the resources and initiatives offered in relation to Indigenous presence and understanding, specifically in the areas of recruitment and admissions, curriculum, and community outreach.

In January, the committee was tasked to deliver recommendations on how to implement the Truth and Conciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action. The committee’s mandate includes reviewing how to build a stronger Indigenous presence on all three campuses. This can be accomplished through: further admission of Indigenous students and the provision of aid for those students; the active hiring of more Indigenous employees, staff, and faculty; or the inclusion of Indigenous content in all university programs and the “enhancement of existing Indigenous-focused courses and academic programs.”

The committee’s final report is expected to provide a more specific outline of the university’s mandate in working with Indigenous partners — such as First Nations House and the Indigenous Studies program — to ensure that the university does its part in implementing recommendations that reflect the intention of the Truth and Reconciliation commission’s final report.

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