Advisory Circle

The Advisory Circle provided guidance on the development of the strategy including the harmonization of First Nations, Métis and Inuit knowledges, cultures and perspectives. The Advisory Circle was composed of Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Holders who are engaged at the community level.

Elders Statement

Our Ancestors and Elders taught us that we are an oral culture in which knowledge, wisdom, and morality were passed from generation to generation in the Language. In our teachings, the Language comes from the land. We believe that for reconciliation to be realized, we have to commit to keeping the remaining Indigenous Languages alive. This requires a substantial commitment from this country. We respectfully insist that each university and college offer a minimum of one Indigenous Language course and all school boards should follow suit. A positive initiative towards reconciliation is that the Ojibway Language is being offered at the University of Guelph beginning in 2019. 

Indigenous Languages have also been used to reflect the placenames of the Original Peoples who lived on this land. We are now hearing land acknowledgement in schools, at city councils, through the media and elsewhere acknowledging the Original Peoples. This Initiative is in keeping with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Recommendations, or Rites of Passage as the Elders respectfully stated at the time of the TRC Report in 2016.

Gchii Miigwetch/Nia:wen. Dan and Mary Lou Smoke


  • Valerie King, Ohskaabayis (Helper), Nokomis (Grandmother), Mississaugas of the Credit

  • Leslie Muma, Métis Knowledge Keeper, Métis Nation of Ontario

  • Tauni Sheldon, Cultural Advisor/Helper, Nunavimmiut Inuit

  • Jan Sherman, Mukwa ndodem, Anishnaabe Mixed Ancestry, Visiting Elder

  • Dan Smoke - Asayenes, Visiting Elder, Seneca Nation, Kildeer Clan, Six Nations Grand River Territory

  • Mary Lou Smoke - Asayenes Kwe, Visiting Elder, Ojibway Nation, Bear Clan, Batchawana Bay