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Group photo of IJC on the steps of Shingwauk Hall with members of the AU team
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Algoma University welcomes International Joint Commission to Sault campus

Algoma University welcomes International Joint Commission to Sault campusVisit focused on environmental stewardship and the university’s leadership in truth, reconciliation and cross-cultural education

Algoma University welcomed the International Joint Commission (IJC) during their visit to Sault Ste. Marie to learn more about the university’s leadership in reconciliation, cross-cultural education, and environmental stewardship.

The visit underscored the commitment shared by Algoma University (AU) and the IJC to environmental protection. It highlighted the impact of joint efforts in fostering a deeper understanding of Canada-US shared waters, a significant element of their environmental stewardship initiatives.

Dr. Michael Twiss, a professor of biology at Algoma University who serves on the IJC’s Great Lakes Science Advisory Board, shared that a large part of the IJC’s work is to ensure the Great Lakes’ water quality is maintained.

“Protecting the Great Lakes involves not only the Governments of Canada and the United States but also relies on the participation of State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, local public agencies, and the public in order to make the best decisions,” he stated. “We highlighted for the IJC how Algoma University is addressing past social injustices faced by Indigenous nations as it extends to environmental injustice and good ways forward towards reconciliation.”

During the visit, the IJC was formally introduced to Algoma University’s Special Mission, a cornerstone of the university’s dedication to cross-cultural education. This mission reinforces AU’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment. The IJC also learned about the university’s historical connection to Shingwauk Hall, now a symbol of reconciliation, learning, and the preservation of history.

“Guided by our Special Mission, we encourage students to view the environment and the world through a transformative lens, focused on making a difference in the world through protecting the land and fostering a sustainable future for all,” said President and Vice-chancellor Asima Vezina, PhD. “The IJC’s role in protecting shared waters is more critical than ever, and we are proud to contribute through our research and community partnerships, training the next generation of work-ready professionals. Miigwetch to Dr. Twiss and to the IJC for your commitment and ongoing efforts to safeguard our lands, waters, and history.”

The IJC was established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the governments of Canada and the United States prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the waters they share. 

Algoma University acknowledges the central importance of water to the ecological, economic, social, and cultural vibrancy in our region. Our burgeoning water research programs – that include newly formed graduate studies in biology and computer science – support our initiatives towards Great Lakes water quality – a value shared by the IJC.

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