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ABOUT

The VUSAC Sustainability Commission's mission is to provide educational programming, increase access to resources, and advocate on behalf of students’ interests and needs—as they relate to sustainability and its many intersections—at Victoria University in the University of Toronto. 

Each year, our commissioner, co-chair, and commission members endeavour:


1) To make environmentally conscious practices, resources, and actions more accessible to the student body,
2) To work in cooperation with the university’s administration,
3) To support causes inside and outside of the university that we feel contribute to the wider cause of sustainability,
4) And to promote environmental equity and bring to light the issues of environmental justice that surround us in our everyday lives.

 

The Commission

Amy Mann
Commissioner

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Rebecca Muscant
Co-chair

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Raj Parekh
Communications Director

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Leah McKinney
Events Director

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Marie Kinderman
Advocacy Director

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Tariq Harney
Advocacy Director

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Shiven Srivastava
Events Director

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May Sith
Events Director

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Boomba Nishikawa
Advocacy Director

 
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Get Involved

ATTEND A MEETING

Find our weekly meeting times on our Events Calendar

BECOME A COMMISSION MEMBER

Apply to be a general member here, or simply attend a meeting during the school

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

We send monthly updates about events and initiatives we are organizing. Sign up here

HAVE AN IDEA?

Have an idea for a sustainability project at Vic? Contact us
at sustainability@vusac.ca or anonymously submit it in our suggestion box

 

Events

 
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CONTACT

Goldring Student Centre, Room 127
150 Charles Street West
Toronto, ON M5S1K9

sustainability@vusac.ca
sustainabilitycochair@vusac.ca
(416) 585-4521 ext. 3082

  • Sustainability Facebook
  • Sustainability Instagram
 
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LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We would like to acknowledge this sacred land on which the University of Toronto and Victoria University operate. It has been a site of human activity for 15,000 years. This land is the territory of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and Confederacy of the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

We would also like to acknowledge Victoria University’s history and place in colonization. The founder of Victoria University, Egerton Ryerson, was a public advocate for residential schools, calling for Christian “industrial schools” for children [1]. From the late 1800s to 1973, Victoria University was in possession of the sacred Manitou Stone, which held important spiritual significance while hunting to the Cree and Blackfoot Nations in Alberta [2]. In all of Victoria University’s history, these are only two pieces of its contribution to the disenfranchisement of the Indigenous people of Canada.

However, Indigenous discrimination, disenfranchisement, and genocide are not phenomena of the past. Indigenous communities continue to suffer from the usurping of land through the creation and maintenance of national parks and protected areas [3]. Canada’s pipeline projects are another current form of stolen land, one that the University of Toronto actively invests in [4]. Issues surrounding treaty rights and the agreements between the Canadian government and the Indigenous people continue to be ignored.

By acknowledging the land that the university sits on, we strive to recognize its history, the privileges it affords us, and the long path of reconciliation that lies ahead.

We hope that you will consider how you benefit from this stolen land on a daily basis and ask yourself the following questions: 
 Why is this acknowledgement happening?
 How does this acknowledgement relate to the event or work you are doing?
 What is the history of this territory? What are the impacts of colonialism here?
 What is your relationship to this territory? How did you come to be here?
 What intentions do you have to disrupt and dismantle colonialism beyond this territory
acknowledgement [6]?

[1] Egerton Ryerson, the Residential School System and Truth and Reconciliation, Ryerson University’s Aboriginal Education Council
[2] Spirit of the Stone, Wayne Arthurson
[3] The shady past of Parks Canada: Forced out, Indigenous people are forging a comeback, Graeme Hamilton
[4] University of Toronto rejects activists’ call to sell oil and gas investments, Jameson Berkow
[5] Pipeline battle puts focus on Canada's disputed right to use indigenous land, Leyland Cecco
[6] Territory Acknowledgement, Native Land

 

MEETINGS

Meeting Agendas & Notes will be posted after each meeting (weekly)

 

Divestment

Learn about divestment here!
And consider signing the petition too!