Equity, Diversity + Inclusion at ECU

Introduction: Accountability to the Land

We respectfully acknowledge that Emily Carr University is situated on unceded, traditional and ancestral xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.

As guests on unceded territory, we have a responsibility to work towards reconciliation, decolonization and social justice. We recognize that acts of colonialism have created many enduring inequities for Indigenous peoples in Canada.

We would like to acknowledge the support and leadership of our local Indigenous healers, cultural advisors and knowledge keepers who are deeply connected to this land.

Prior to the new campus construction the land was blessed and cleansed to provide a cultural foundation for the work being done within our institution. Thus, we remain accountable to the land for our words and actions.

Cultural knowledge keepers continue to support us in moving forward in a path focused on “good hearts and good mind”. Their ongoing guidance, strength and wisdom inspire us to share and integrate their teachings and protocols deeply rooted in our current and ancestral connection to this land.

We are grateful for the generosity of the local Indigenous communities for sharing their traditional territory as we honour their teachings in the pursuit of knowledge.

Brenda Crabtree, Director of Aboriginal Programs and Special Advisor to the President on Indigenous Initiatives

Creating a More Inclusive Campus

At Emily Carr University, we believe that the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) are essential to ensuring our campus environment is safe, accessible and respectful. We believe that the principles of EDI should be enacted within the context of the land and the people.

Emily Carr condemns violence against Black people, Indigenous people and People of Colour. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Recent protests against anti-Black racism have given rise to deep conversations about racism In North America and, specifically, the ways individual and systemic racism are enacted at ECU — issues that are deeply rooted in colonialism and white supremacy. We can do better.

Deliberate and thoughtful action is needed as we address these issues through meaningful dialog, informed input and contributions from all stakeholders within our institution.

The principles of EDI, when embedded throughout our culture, our curriculum and our community, create the conditions for lasting and significant change. This work is already underway, and we are grateful to the students, staff and faculty who have been engaging in this difficult work, both in recent months and over many years.

Building Goals Together

Transforming ECU is work of the highest importance. We will take a comprehensive approach to ensure that equity, diversity and inclusion are considered in everything we do.

Through inclusive community engagement, we will build a shared understanding of our goals and what must be done to achieve them. We will then take concrete action to implement these goals and hold ourselves accountable.

Discussions are underway with key internal stakeholders to help shape this process. We will share next steps with the university community once they have been finalized.

Taking Immediate Action

The EDI Action Plan spells out the immediate commitments and priority actions we’re taking to address racism and inclusion at Emily Carr. This plan is in direct response to our community’s calls for change.

The commitments reflect the concerns and ideas brought forward by our students, staff, faculty and alumni, including those raised by student-led groups such as the Anti-Racism Initiative, whose petition identified many areas in need of urgent action.

The Action Plan is a living document that will be continually updated, in reflection of the ongoing nature of this work. New actions will be added as we identify goals through the planning process.

We recognize that many of these goals will take time and thoughtful consideration to achieve. But the Action Plan addresses many areas in which immediate action is both needed and possible.

Moving forward, we'll update this website with our progress, relevant news and events, and helpful resources including a list of community initiatives led by students, staff and faculty.

EDI News