Board Announcement: Ambrose University and the Doctrine of Discovery
Ambrose University has had an ongoing conversation about what it means to be intentional in our response to the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Our internal committee, appointed by the university president and led by Dr. Ken Draper, brought a number of recommendations to the administration, the faculty and the Board of Governors. We are happy to confirm that the Board at its most recent meetings acted on two of these recommendations:
Recommendation: THAT the Board of Governors of Ambrose University affirm Recommendation No. 48 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and thereby affirm the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Recommendation: THAT the Board of Governors of Ambrose University affirm Recommendation No. 49 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and thereby repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery.
We fully realize that for some this will be viewed as a little late to the party—that, in the estimation of some, this should have happened much sooner. We understand that viewpoint but ask that together we appreciate that this has finally happened and that it represents a deep resolve of the Board and the university as a whole.
We recognize that we are located on the traditional lands of the Blackfoot people and that Calgary is home to Metis Nation of Alberta - Region 3. We do a regular land acknowledgement as a way to recognize the heritage that we have on this land and as a way to signal that, with God’s help, we will do all we can to live in truth, pursue justice and foster reconciliation between indigenous and settler peoples. Moreover, we join those who share this resolve in working towards a reality that reflects these core values in our society and in the church.
Currently the TRC Response Committee at Ambrose is led by Dr. Sherry Martens. We welcome her leadership as she continues to foster good conversation about what it means to be this university, in this place and in this time, when it comes to our relationship to the indigenous peoples of Southern Alberta. Further, it is our hope that all of our students will learn what it means to live with the resolve that wherever their vocations might take them—in North America or elsewhere—they will do their work, whether in business, education, the arts, or religious ministry, in a way that honours the life and work of the indigenous peoples where they are located.
Chair, Board of Governors
Gordon T. Smith