Truth, Openness, and Reciprocity

Icon of a heart

At a discussion forum in February 2021, organized to address the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, a UTM student stated plainly the reason for his participation: “the truth matters.” This principle informs every aspect of UTM’s work, but it applies most acutely in realizing our commitment to the truth that comes before Indigenous reconciliation. We must confront the legacies of Canadian settler colonialism; understand the intergenerational trauma inflicted on Indigenous peoples; and recognize the power of Indigenous accomplishment and resilience.

Watkins pond in the spring season

The truth comes with a responsibility to action. UTM is committed to our roadmap for change, guided by U of T’s response to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Answering the Call: Wecheehetowin. We work to centre Indigeneity in campus life and to build genuine reciprocity with all people and the natural world. And we cultivate right relations with Indigenous peoples, both as an end in itself and as the foundation for right relations with everyone and everything.

Our culture of reciprocity needs openness. So, we aim to ground our everyday actions—from research and teaching to communications and student support—in a transparent generosity that calls people in to UTM’s communities. We encourage respectful dialogue and deep, deliberate, unrushed understanding. And we come together to explain decisions and own and learn from our failures.


  • Listen and act with kindness, transparency, and evidence-based honesty.
  • Answer calls for truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in every aspect of campus life.
  • Deepen reciprocal relationships with Indigenous nations and communities.


  • Have we sought and spoken the truth—in our communications, events, operations, teaching, research and interpersonal interactions?
  • Have we championed inclusive excellence achieved through the flourishing of others and of the world around us?
  • Have we implemented actions promised in U of T’s Response to the TRC: Answering the Call: Wecheehetowin?
  • Have we sought new opportunities to embed anti-colonial and Indigenizing initiatives across campus, including in UTM’s relations with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation?
  • Have we cultivated relevant, respectful, and reciprocal Indigenous partnerships in our research initiatives, teaching, campus development, and student and civic engagements?