Building Reconciliation Forum - Sault Ste. Marie



A consortium of five postsecondary institutions – Algoma University, Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (an Anishinaabe Institution), Cape Breton University, Nipissing University and the University of Northern British Columbia will jointly host the 2019 National Building Reconciliation Forum.

The event will be held at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, (also known as Baawating – the rapids – by the Anishinaabe) in the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe people.  Algoma is the only university in Canada located on the site of a former residential school (Shingwauk Hall) and the university works closely with the Survivor community.  The 2019 forum will focus on the strengths that smaller institutions bring to the national conversation on reconciliation through higher education.

Participants at the 2019 forum will have an opportunity to explore the first major, permanent, residential school Survivor-driven exhibition located in a former residential school building. The “Reclamation of Shingwauk Hall” exhibit, which opened in August 2018, honours over four decades of work led by the Survivor community in their efforts to tell the truth about the residential school past while contributing to national healing and reconciliation efforts.

Forum participants will also have an opportunity to take part in programming in a new Anishinabek Discovery Centre slated to open in 2019.  The $10.2 million building, located adjacent to Algoma University, will be home to Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, one of nine Indigenous Institutes of higher learning legally recognized by the Province of Ontario.  The facility will also house the National Chiefs Library, the first Indigenous-led research library in Canada.

“We are honoured to be partnering with four northern institutions who represent a unique coast to coast leadership collaboration for the planning of the fifth national Building Reconciliation Forum. While the gathering will be hosted here in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, each partner on the planning committee brings tremendous strength and experience and we are excited to be working together to co-host the 2019 forum.”
– Asima Vezina, president of Algoma University

First Contact


by Waubgeshig Rice

In the winter of 1989, Eva Gibson is a university student living in downtown Toronto. She’s homesick for her community in northern Ontario, but she’s determined to get her education to one day return home and serve her fellow Anishinaabe people.

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  • Algoma University

    October 8, 2019

    Building Reconciliation Forum - Sault Ste. Marie
    The annual National Building Reconciliation Forum brings together leaders from universities and Indigenous communities from across Canada to create meaningful and lasting institutional change in the higher education sector to advance reconciliation.