Indigenous Portfolio

Aaniin, Kwe kwe, Biindegek, Bonjour, Hello

Welcome to the University of Sudbury Indigenous Portfolio page!

The University of Sudbury defines itself by its bilingual and tri-cultural tradition, its Jesuit heritage and its long-standing dedication to promoting the culture and traditions of Indigenous peoples. In May 2018, in order to expand on these efforts, we welcomed Sarah Rice ( to assume the role of Director of our Indigenous Portfolio. See below to find out more about the range of services and activities offered under the Indigenous Portfolio.

Acknowledgement: Our institution is located in Sudbury, also known as N’Swakamok in Anishnabemowin, meaning “Where the three roads meet”. This land on which we learn, work and live is in the Robinson-Huron Treaty territory. We are located on the traditional lands of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and the Wahnapitae First Nation, and the University of Sudbury is proud of its relationship and long history with the Anishnaabeg. We would also like to recognize the presence and important contributions of Métis peoples in the community and on this land.




The University of Sudbury welcomes two key resource people from the Indigenous Student Affairs at Laurentian University, according to the schedule and details below. We invite you to take advantage of their services on-site!


Indigenous Student Counsellor, Cynthia Belfitt, is holding drop-in office hours in the Indigenous Studies Resource Lounge / Enji-nkweshkodaading (at the University of Sudbury, Room 108) once a month during the year:

Thursday, September 20, 2018 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Thursday, October 18, 2018 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Thursday, November 15, 2018 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Thursday, January 24, 2019 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Thursday, February 28, 2019 1 p.m - 4 p.m.
Thursday, March 21, 2019 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Students can also book appointments with her outside of these drop-in hours by contacting her directly: 705-675-1151, ext. 1048 /


Gail Charbonneau, Holistic Support Person from Indigenous Student Affairs, held regular office hours and offered workshops on various topics (Feast Kits, Medicine Pouches, Talking Sticks, Sharing Circles and Meditation) during the first semester.  STAY TUNED FOR UPDATED INFORMATION FOR THE UPCOMING WINTER SEMESTER!

Currently, students can book appointments with her or to see an Elder at the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre by contacting her directly: 705-675-1151, ext. 1051 /




*Please note that this initiative is done for the Fall semester. It will start again in the Winter semester (in January). Stay tuned for updates and details! 

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On Tuesday, October 23rd, the University of Sudbury hosted the Robinson-Huron Treaty (RHT) Panel. “We wanted to host this event because it is a very timely and relevant discussion as the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850 decision will be announced in December 2018. We hoped that this panel discussion would help to inform our students and community of the importance and rich history of the Treaty for people living, working and studying in N’Swakamok and the rest of the treaty area. The University of Sudbury was honoured to provide a venue for a fruitful discussion about the impacts a 168-year-old treaty can have on our lives today” explained Sarah Rice, Director of the Indigenous Portfolio at the University of Sudbury.

The Panel was moderated by Dr. Brock Pitawanakwat (Chair of the Indigenous Studies Department, University of Sudbury), and was comprised of three well-respected guest speakers who discussed the case from their unique points of view: the traditional/historic perspective, the RHT Trust perspective (that prompted the case), as well as the legal perspective. They were Elder Art Petahtegoose, a member of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek and a retired professor, who specializes in Anishnawbek culture; the Honourable Stephen O’Neill who has dedicated his career to working as a judge in Northern Ontario and to working in private practice for First Nations; and Mike Restoule, a citizen of Nipissing First Nation, who served on the Nipissing First Nation Council for 17 years and is currently the Chair of the Robinson-Huron Treaty Litigation Trust Fund having been appointed by the members of the Trust in 2010.

2018 10 23 RHT panel 
Left to right: The Honourable Stephen O’Neill, Dr. Brock Pitawanakwat, Sarah Rice,
Elder Art Petahtegoose, and Mike Restoule


Click the video below to view more of the panel discussion.




On Wednesday, November 14th, the University of Sudbury welcomed Dr. Carrie Bourassa, Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health (IIPH), to present on Cultural Safety. During her presentation, she explored the concepts of cultural safety and anti-racism and what that means in the university setting.

“My hope is that this conversation will help inform us, as members of the University of Sudbury community, about how we can continue to do our work in a good way; in a way that builds on the University of Sudbury’s reconciliation work and enhances our continual efforts to create a welcoming, inclusive and culturally supportive institution,” explained Sarah Rice, Director – Indigenous Portfolio at the University of Sudbury.


2018 11 14 Carrie Bourassa.4   
 Above (left to right): Sarah Rice and Dr. Carrie Bourassa  
 2018 11 14 Carrie Bourassa.2 2018 11 14 Carrie Bourassa 

See the lecture by clicking the video below:

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