Indigenous Cultural Competency Toolkit 

Register to participate in Indigenous Cultural Competency programming 

As part of the Faculty’s commitment to improving Indigenous inclusion, all U of T Engineering faculty, staff and students are called upon to start or continue their personal journeys towards understanding and acknowledging Indigenous peoples’ history, truths and culture. Launching in summer 2021, the Indigenous Cultural Competency Toolkit has been created to help guide your journey.  

The toolkit includes workshops, events and self-educational tools that have been curated from consultations with U of T’s Indigenous Initiatives Office and Indigenous-identifying community members. The toolkit builds on recommendations from the 2018 Blueprint for Action report created by the Eagles’ Longhouse Engineering Indigenous Initiatives Steering Committee, which identified the most imperative actions to (re)building relationships between U of T Engineering and Indigenous peoples. It also aligns with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.

Progressing Toward Reconciliation  

This work contributes to the goal of establishing a more united, equitable and inclusive U of T Engineering community. Learning the truths and working towards reconciliation are commitments made by the Faculty and these modules are a first step that require everyone’s effort and prioritization. 

Participants must start with Module 1: Understanding and Acknowledging Truths. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to complete this module through Summer 2021In September, talking circles will be organized for participants to share their experiences, learnings and progress and to come together and create a set of actions or goals to advance Indigenous inclusion within the Faculty.  

Program Modules & Dates

Module 1: Understanding & Acknowledging Truths 

Speaking Our Truths: The Journey Toward Reconciliation – Part 1 

  • Offered online through U of T’s Centre for Learning, Leadership & Culture 
  • Facilitated by John Croutch,cultural competency training officer in U of T's Office of Indigenous Initiatives 
  • Duration: Two hours 
  • Dates offered — participants to select one option: 
    • June 17, 2021 from 2-4pm
    • July 22, 2021 from 2-4pm
    • August 19, 2021 from 6-8pm

Speaking Our Truths: The Journey Toward Reconciliation – Part 2  

  • Offered online through U of T’s Centre for Learning, Leadership & Culture 
  • Facilitated by John Croutch, cultural competency training officer in U of T's Office of Indigenous Initiatives 
  • Duration: Two hours 
  • Dates offered — participants to select one option
    • June 29, 2021 from 2-4pm
    • July 29, 2021 from 2-4pm
    • August 26, 2021 from 6-8pm

KAIROS Blanket Exercise 

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is a participatory exploration of both the chronological and experiential histories of Indigenous peoples across Canada. This session will be offered virtually. 

  • Duration: 2.5 hours 
  • Dates offered — participants to select one:
    • July 8, 2021 from 2–4:30pm
    • August 4, 2021 from 6–8:30 pm 


Module 2: Participating in the Culture 

The offerings in Module 2 are experiential in nature and self-directed. 

Virtual Pow Wow 

Organized by the University of Toronto Indigenous Studies Students’ Union, this is the fifth edition of the annual Honouring Our Students Pow WowLearn more about pow wow ceremonial practices, history and protocols before joining.  

First Story Virtual Campus Tour 

Led by a group of Indigenous U of T students and young adults from across the Greater Toronto Area, these virtual tours celebrate the rich Indigenous history of the University’s three campuses and surrounding areas. 

  • Date: TBD 

Module 3: Increasing Self-Discovery 

These resources are curated to continue and advance participants’ self-directed learning. Please be aware that much of this content addresses painful themes that may be activating to survivors of trauma. 

BookThe Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King  

Winner of the 2014 RBC Taylor PrizeThe Inconvenient Indian is at once a "history" and the complete subversion of a history — in short, a critical and personal meditation that the remarkable Thomas King has conducted over the past 50 years about what it means to be "Indian" in North America.  


Paper: Decolonization is not a metaphor

Eve Tuck & K. Wayne Yang. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society Vol. 1, No. 1, 2012, pp. 1-40 

FilmIndian Horse. (2017) 

An adaptation of Richard Wagamese's award winning novel, this moving and important drama sheds light on the dark history of Canada's Residential Schools and the indomitable spirit of Indigenous people. Viewer discretion advised.  

More resources

The Royal Alberta Museum has compiled a comprehensive Indigenous History Resource List. This curates recommended books, literature, films, radio, podcast and more materials for people of all ages. 

Register to participate in Indigenous Cultural Competency Programming 

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Marisa SterlingAssistant Dean and Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Professionalism. 

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