AAU Working Committee on Aboriginal Issues


AAU Working Committee on Aboriginal Issues

Committee Members

Jeff Orr, St. Francis Xavier University 

David Perley, University of New Brunswick  

Margaret Donahue, APCFNC

Ann Sylliboy, Mi'kmaw Kina'matnewey 

Dion Kaszas, Acadia University 

James Sandford, Acadia University

David MacLachlan, Atlantic School of Theology 

Stephen Augustine, Cape Breton University

Arthur Stevens, Dalhousie University

Patti Doyle-Bedwell, Dalhousie University

Dorota Glowacka, University of King's College

Sarah Clift, University of King's College 

Terra Tailleur, University of King's College

Paula Barry, Mount Saint Vincent University 

Patrick Small Legs-Nagge, Mount Saint Vincent University

Paula Barry, Mount Saint Vincent University 

Veronica Gore, Mount Saint Vincent University

Patty Musgrave, Mount Allison University 

Catharyn Andersen, Memorial University of Newfoundland

James Barmby, NSCAD University

Raymond Sewell, Saint Mary's University

Tom Brophy, Saint Mary's University

Jennifer Connors, St. Francis Xavier University 

André Loiselle, St. Thomas University  

Susan Machum, St. Thomas University

Susan Sears, St. Thomas University 

Hélène Albert, Université de Moncton 

Amanada Reid Rogers, University of New Brunswick 

Sherri Russell, University of Prince Edward Island 

Treena Smith, University of Prince Edward Island 

Allister Surette, Université Sainte Anne

Peter Halpin, Association of Atlantic Universities 

Byron James, Atlantic Colleges Atlantique

Sharon Thira, New Brunswick Community College

Nancy Carter, Nova Scotia Community College 

Joe Fraser, Nova Scotia Community College 


Mandate of the Committee

The Working Committee was established by the Association of Atlantic Universities Council with the following mandate:

  1. To share information about initiatives that one or more AAU member universities are undertaking with respect to Aboriginal education or research.
  2. To advise the AAU on measures that can be taken, through collaboration among AAU member institutions, to improve university access, retention and graduation for Aboriginal students. 
  3. To create opportunities for faculty, staff and students at member institutions to learn more about and develop best practices in Aboriginal student support, instruction and retention.
  4. To collaborate with the Atlantic Aboriginal Advisors Networking Group to address and progress initiatives of benefit to Aboriginal learners.
  5. To identify other measures universities can take to contribute to the health and well-being of Aboriginal communities in the Atlantic region, through activities such as research and capacity building.

Composition and Decision Making

  1. The composition of the Committee is as follows: 

    - At minimum, one representative from a majority of AAU universities.
     - One representative of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs (APCFNC).
    - The Chair of the Atlantic Aboriginal Advisors Networking Group.
    - The Executive Director of the AAU (ex officio).
    - One representative from the Atlantic Community colleges.
    - The working party may invite/elect up to 2 additional members from outside the postsecondary sector.

  2. University members of the Committee are appointed by the President of their respective university and serve at the pleasure of the President. Where possible, the designated representatives will include persons of aboriginal origin and others who are active in teaching, research or outreach to the aboriginal communities and organizations of the Atlantic region. Representatives of the APCFNC are appointed by the organization’s Executive Director.
  3. The quorum at Committee meetings is 8 voting members. 
  4. Decision-making will normally be by consensus, but a vote can be taken when necessary. When a vote is taken, a simple majority of those in attendance (assuming quorum) is required to make a decision. If quorum is not available, conclusions will be reported to those not in attendance who will be asked to ratify decisions. Again, a simple majority is required and members will be asked to respond within one week of receiving the minutes. Non response will be considered as acceptance.
  5. The Working Committee will meet a minimum of two times per year.

Selection of Co-chairs

  1. The Working Committee shall have two persons who will serve as co-chairs, and they will alternate in chairing meetings.
  2. The two co-chairs will not normally come from the same institution or province.
  3. Co-chairs will not act as Chairs on Sub-committees
  4. The Co-chairs are nominated and selected by the Working Committee for a two year term with the option of renewal. It is desirable for at least one of the co-chairs to be an Aboriginal member of the Committee.
  5. At any particular meeting of the Working Committee, the person chairing the meeting will be non-voting except when voting results in a tie, at which point the chair of the meeting can vote to break the tie.


  1. The Working Committee will report to the AAU through a designated member of Council.
  2. The Working Committee will produce an annual report summarizing its activities.


Revised: October 11, 2018