Reconciliation in engineering requires addressing the gross underrepresentation of Indigenous people in the engineering profession, which is at 0.73 per cent according to Engineers Canada’s report: Indigenous engineers in Canada. A great deal of work needs to be done in both the profession and within post-secondary engineering programs to improve the enrolment, graduation rates, and retention of Indigenous people along the engineering pathway.
In 2016, Engineers Canada published the report ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Access to Post-Secondary Engineering Programs: A Review of Practice Consensus,’ which provides an overview of activities that some Canadian post-secondary engineering programs have used successfully and that others can use in establishing or growing their own Indigenous access programs. Of the 276 accredited engineering programs at 44 HEIs, 24 HEIs have documented Indigenous initiatives (Seniuk Cicek, et.al., 2020). Engineers Canada hosts a community of practice called the Decolonizing and Indigenizing Engineering Education Network (DIEEN), which is made up of Indigenous and non-Indigenous engineering faculty, students, administrators, and representatives from engineering regulators who are addressing: a) Indigenous access to engineering education, and b) truth and reconciliation within engineering education. Please also see the specific Calls to Action related to education: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.
Here are some examples of post-secondary engineering initiatives:
- Queen’s University Faculty of Engineering Aboriginal Access to Engineering
- University of Alberta’s Indigenous Peoples and Technoscience Online Course (Faculty of Native Studies)
- University of British Columbia’s Truth and the Role of Engineering in Decolonization (Recorded sessions, 2021)
- University of Manitoba’s Engineering Access Program
- University of Saskatchewan Indigenous Engineering Access Program
- University of Toronto’s Indigenous Design & Engineering Academy