Skip to main content

Laurier is proud to foster a community that embraces Indigenous initiatives as part of our institutional identity. Led by the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Laurier has been working toward the goal of Indigenization, a term that reflects the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge into the daily life of the university.

Indigenous Strategic Plan

As a result of extensive consultations with Indigenous Elders, community members, faculty, staff, and students, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives developed a university-wide Indigenization strategy that has been a core initiative of Laurier’s Action Plan for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) and Indigeneity.

The Indigenous Strategic Plan was unanimously approved by the university Senate and Board of Governors in the summer of 2023.

This plan is informed by existing Indigenous scholarship on reconciliation and decolonization in the Canadian academy. It reinforces Laurier’s commitment to Indigenization and fostering a community that honors Indigenous knowledge and practices at Laurier. It also reflects Laurier’s belief that educational institutions have a duty to address the legacy of harm caused by colonial policies and practices.

In addition to a high-level view of Indigenization at Laurier with larger overarching goals, the plan outlines three distinct approaches to Indigenization at the university: inclusion, reconciliation and decolonization.

Our Campuses

Our Waterloo and Brantford campuses are located in the heart of southwestern Ontario, about an hour from Toronto. Kitchener-Waterloo and Brantford both have large urban Indigenous populations – 10,000 and 8,000, respectively – and are within a 2.5-hour drive of 18 First Nations communities. The Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations are only a 15-minute drive from our Brantford campus. There are 12 Métis councils within a 3-hour radius: Hamilton, ON; Brampton, ON; Kitchener, ON; Midland, ON; Owen Sound, ON; Beaverton, ON; Thorold, ON; Oshawa, ON; Peterborough, ON; London, ON; Toronto, ON; and Windsor, ON.

Laurier's Land Acknowledgement

We would like to acknowledge that Wilfrid Laurier University and its campuses are located on the shared traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnaabe (Anish-nah-bay) and Haudenosaunee (Hoe-den-no-show-nee) peoples. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon Treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabe peoples and symbolizes the agreement to share, protect our resources and not to engage in conflict. From the Haldimand Proclamation of Oct. 25, 1784 this territory is described as: “six miles deep from each side of the river (Grand River) beginning at Lake Erie and extending in the proportion to the Head of said river, which them and their posterity are to enjoy forever.” The proclamation was signed by the British with their allies, the Six Nations, after the American Revolution. Despite being the largest reserve demographically in Canada, those nations now reside on less than five per cent of this original territory.

Feature: Leanna Marshall, Listen To The Trees, 2016; photo credit, Laura Paxton

Indigenous logo

Meaningful Symbols

Based on the Haudenosaunee creation story, our logo reminds us of how the first seeds of life on Earth were planted on the back of a turtle. The inner segments of the dome represent the Anishnaabe (Ojibway) Seven Grandfather Teachings: love, respect, wisdom, bravery, truth, honesty and humility. The golden rays of the sun symbolize enlightenment, learning and new beginnings. The Métis beaded purple flower represents the gifts of plant life from the Skyworld, which encourage and sustain life. The entire design rests on the waters of life.

Contact Us: