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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Aanii! UOIT’s Aboriginal Resource Centre officially opens


From smudging to singing, drumming and traditional foods, the Aboriginal Resource Centre (ARC) at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) welcomed guests to its grand opening the traditional way.

The event, held on February 3, brought together government and community supporters, students, faculty and staff for an event infused with Aboriginal customs. The event kicked off with an opening ceremony by Elder Cliff Standingready followed by the award-winning Smoke Trail Singers performing honour songs. Presenters included Alayne Bigwin, director, Aboriginal Education Office, Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; Chief Tracy Gauthier, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation; Senator Cecile Wagar, Oshawa Durham Region Métis Council; Deputy Mayor Doug Sanders, City of Oshawa; UOIT President Tim McTiernan, PhD; and UOIT Registrar Victoria Choy.

“The successful opening we are celebrating today is due largely to the commitment of the people involved, the guidance and direction we received, and the efforts of our Aboriginal counsellors and outreach officers who put their whole hearts into this undertaking,” said Choy. “Our Aboriginal students now have a home away from home as well as the resources and support to help them connect with each other and succeed academically and when they graduate within the 21st century workplace.”

To mark the occasion, Fred Taylor, an artist from Curve Lake First Nation and a residential school survivor, was commissioned to create a traditional painting for the centre. Taylor presented the teachings behind the painting, which is of a tree to symbolize growth. Each guest was asked to include their fingerprints on the painting as a promise to work together as the centre continues to grow the services offered. The painting will be on display in the centre and enjoyed by all who visit for years to come.

Following the official ceremony, an open house was held at the ARC. Guests were welcomed into the centre by the sounds of hand drumming by Kim Wheatley and they enjoyed traditional fare such as elk stew, bannock, and wild ricee salad.

“The centre gives me a sense of belonging, and a family that gives me support,” Bailley Taylor, a third-year Criminology student and from Curve Lake First Nation. “It allows me to express my thoughts, feelings, and every day experiences with others. It gives me a place where I feel comfort, and allows me to do my daily tasks with school in a quiet, peaceful place. Without the counsellors, I don't know if I would still be going to school, or be in the great position I'm in now. The ARC is my rock!”

ARC is a welcoming centre for students to gather and grow together while attending UOIT. A home away from home, the centre helps First Nation, Métis and Inuit students experience a positive transition to university life. The centre offers a variety of services designed to help students succeed both on and off campus. To meet the individual needs of students, counselling services are offered in either western or traditional styles.

The ARC offers a variety of services designed to help students succeed both on and off campus.

Services include:

• Aboriginal self-identification;
• Counselling services;
• Cultural programming;
• Elder availability; and
• Sponsorship, scholarship and bursary assistance.


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Media contact
Melissa Levy
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.8668 ext. 2513