CBU: Embracing the L’nu Document – Unama’ki College Draft Strategic Plan
EMBRACING THE L’NU (INDIGENISATION) OF CAPE BRETON UNIVERSITY1
Cape Breton University recognizes its foundation on Mi’kmaq Territory and traditional homelands and is committed to honouring and embracing the knowledge, wisdom, and traditions of the Mi’kmaq throughout its teaching, research and community engagement. The University does this by ensuring that all students graduating from Cape Breton University have the opportunity to experience Mi’kmaq culture, both within their academic programs and through the ceremonies and extra-curricular activities of the institution. Cape Breton University ensures support for the success of all Indigenous students through a dedicated College – Unama’ki College – which has a direct reporting relationship with the President of the University. Unama’ki College is led by a Dean and makes available Indigenous knowledge across campus and in-community through the development, design, and promotion of programming featuring such knowledge and through the active promotion of such opportunities throughout the institution. Unama’ki College also supports outreach, economic and community development in Indigenous communities.
BACKGROUND: THE TIME FOR RESTRUCTURING IS NOW
Unama’ki College is approaching a milestone in its existence as an academic Indigenous institution. Opportunities for growing and expanding the vision, scope, reach, services, and impact of Unama’ki College are emerging, and the time is ripe for reconsidering what Unama’ki College is and what it might be in the future, in order to best meet and serve the needs of learners and Indigenous communities, both here in Unama’ki/Cape Breton, as well as provincially, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
This draft strategic restructuring and revisioning plan is based on:
- the founding principles of Unama’ki College;
- the results and recommendations of the independent review of Unama’ki College conducted in 2014/2015;
- an Unama’ki College Position Paper drafted by Dean Stephen Augustine in summer 2015;
- insights from a one-day Sharing Circle with CBU faculty, staff, administrative leaders, and Unama’ki Elders and knowledge holders, convened at Cape Breton University on September 23, 2015;
- discussions with a new high level Advisory Council on Indigenization of Cape Breton University in November and December 2015;
- a draft document prepared by President David Wheeler in October 2015;
- ongoing meetings and dialogues between Stephen Augustine (Dean of Unama’ki College and Aboriginal Learning), Ashlee Cunsolo Willox (Canada Research Chair & Assistant Professor), and Marybeth Doucette (Executive Director, Purdy Crawford Chair) begun November 2015;
- dialogues with School Deans and others to the end of January 2016; and
- a framework business model to support the College in perpetuity agreed to by the Executive of CBU.