Director of Indigenous Education and Affairs Miranda Huron explains her future plans at CapU
Logan Dillon // Contributor
Miranda Huron has just begun her role as Director of Indigenous Education and Affairs, but she is already focused on the future. Seeing where changes can be made, Miranda will guide Capilano University (CapU) as it follows its commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, the Missing and Murdered Women Calls to Justice, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). “I am starting to come up with ideas where we can strengthen and support students. Ways where we can be responsible to the five nations on whose territory the school is, and the visiting nations who come to study here,” said Huron when discussing her plans on how she will integrate these commitments.
Changes will arrive on campus in the form of curriculum content and respectful dialogue. The way in which these changes will be enacted is currently a discussion amongst Huron and her team. They hope to utilize the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action; in particular, Section 62, ii, which states that post-secondary institutions should “provide the necessary funding to….educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms.”
“When somebody comes from Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Sechelt, Lil’wat, Musqueam, when they come to this campus, there’s a feeling of co-ownership, that this is a university that represents their identity is making those strides to be true partners,” said Huron. The support of students and faculty is important in this cooperation as it is key on allowing these new changes to be brought forward.
Students and staff can take part in bridging the gap by learning the history, understanding the myths that exist surrounding Indigenous peoples and even taking part in cultural workshops held on campus in the Kéxwusm-áyakn Student Centre. “There’s always more that can be done,” Huron said. “There is still this massive gap in education, where there have been generations of nothing that was learned about our history and so, moving forward, people are working really hard to make up that education gap so that they can be responsible teachers and staff.”
Most institutions are in their early days of approaching the topic of reconciliation. The statement that “Capilano University acknowledges with respect the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish, Sechelt, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples on whose territories our campuses are located” is just a small part of what reconciliation truly means. Reconciliation is defined as “the restoration of friendly relations,” which is Huron’s goal with her new position.
These efforts come as part of a developing partnership between the Nations whose land the school resides on and the students who are welcomed guests. The continued development of reconciliation at CapU is Huron’s vision, and she hopes to combine the learning experience with the teachings of the First-Nations peoples as a way to heal the wounds from the struggles of the past. “Reconciling means that we’re opening ourselves up to a population as they become ready to connect with the societal wrongs and change them for the better,” Huron said.