President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz is in Ottawa February 6–7 attending University Canada’s Converge 2017, joining future innovators, creators, entrepreneurs, and community leaders from universities across the country.
A highlight in Monday’s schedule included a question and answer session with the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, who explored what Canada can become in the next 50 years. Prime Minister Trudeau commented on how important it is to draw upon the experience of those very Canadians who already are comfortable with change, including youth and those engaged in the post-secondary landscape, during this dialogue on transformation. The Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to fundamental human rights and an inclusive society, mental health support, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report.
Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire, also addressed the attendees on Monday about “the path to Canada’s future—education and reconciliation.” She challenged university leaders to use the Converge event as the catalyst for their institutions to support and partner with First Nations as they reconstruct, renew, and recapture their indigenous languages, culture, values, and knowledge, to make “reconciliaction” happen. Ms. Jamieson added that this rebuilding not only involves the education of indigenous peoples but the education of Canadians, and that as partners, we must “transform education into a culturally appropriate engine” where youth can excel and realize their potential.