Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE) |
Société canadienne pour l’étude de l’enseignement supérieur

Date for Release: 29 September 2021

Re: Statement of Commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action from the Board of Directors

As the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education’s (CSSHE) (“Society”) Board of Directors, we commit to engage our members and our communities, to bear witness to the past and to the present, and to claim responsibility for taking renewed actions already identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As scholars and practitioners in higher education, we are conscious of our unique position and our capacity to enact and influence change. We also recognize that there are limitations to many of our current perspectives, and that demonstrating cultural humility and openness to listen to Indigenous voices is critical to moving forward.

In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we are announcing our
commitment and our intentions.

Our commitment
We will, in the coming months, bring together scholars, professionals, administrators, and students, along with Indigenous representation, to create an action plan for our scholarly association related to the TRC Calls to Action on Education, which higher education has a role, consistent with the commitments of our Society and our Strategic Plan. This will include:

  • Reviewing opportunities to provide members with new supports or services to enhance their professional practices, such as for administration, teaching, research, or service;
  • Critically reviewing our own Society’s processes and norms;
  • Creating opportunities to foster, support, and celebrate Indigenous voices in all areas of our Society, including scholarship;
  • Building an engaged higher education community dedicated to the multi-generational journey towards reconciling Canadian higher education as a field of practice and of study;
  • Bearing witness as a Society, creating space for inclusive national discussions through our conferences to advance the projects of inclusion, reconciliation and decolonization, Indigenization, and, through the journal, gathering and disseminating new knowledge on the transformations necessary for reconciliation.

Through a consultative process, we will endeavour to understand what all our members’ needs are in terms of enacting reconciliation in their practices, and to listen to what Indigenous members’ vision is for a more inclusive and responsive higher education community.

With these actions we aim to deepen our understanding of equity and inclusion in Canadian higher education, to challenge and inspire policymakers, to shape the education of future scholars, professionals, and administrators, and to further expand the community of our Society.

– End of Statement –

Background to CSSHE
Through the collective and collaborative work of its members, CSSHE is the leading scholarly society for Canadian higher education as a field of study and practice. Our object of study is the Canadian higher education sector, its institutions, its people, and its processes. Our membership includes scholars, professionals, administrators, and students, who investigate and operate within the higher education sector. Our platforms include an annual meeting of the Society at the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities, and the Canadian Journal of Higher Education to help us connect people, places, and ideas.

CSSHE is a bilingual network of members who advance the research, scholarship, and practice of higher education in Canada. In order to accomplish this, we disseminate, recognize, and reward the research and scholarly work of our members through various platforms, including an annual conference and a scholarly journal; build a connected and engaged higher education community within the CSSHE membership; and enhance member capacity through resources, professional development, and collaboration within and beyond CSSHE.