Ask Laurier students, staff, faculty or alumni what makes Laurier special, and one word keeps coming up: community. Our campuses work hard to foster belonging and engagement, values our researchers apply to tackling complex issues at home and around the world.
Laurier researchers work with communities locally, nationally and internationally; with small grassroots groups and large networks; with Indigenous, settler and newcomer communities. No matter the context, our researchers’ work is rooted in local communities, considers the needs of all members, and aims to result in concrete, positive, co-created change.
By partnering with university researchers, community organizations can gain answers to the questions most relevant to them and help design research to ensure its fairness, accessibility and usability. By partnering with community organizations, university researchers can gain genuine understanding of the people and issues they are researching and ensure their work has real-world impact.
Laurier researchers work with many organizations in communities across Canada and globally, but the communities where we have campuses or locations are a special focus. As engaged members of their local communities, Laurier students, faculty and staff are committed to helping make them better places to live, work and play.
With a campus in Waterloo and the Faculty of Social Work in downtown Kitchener, Laurier researchers have many connections to Waterloo Region organizations, including municipal governments, school boards and civil society organizations. A number of research centres, such as the Laurier Centre for Community Research, Learning and Action, Manulife Centre for Community Health Research, Sun Life Financial Centre for Physically Active Communities, Viessmann Centre for Engagement and Research in Sustainability and Social Innovation Research Group, focus on community-engaged research and do much of their work with Waterloo Region organizations.
Laurier’s Brantford campus, established in 1999, is right in the heart of the city. As such, many of its researchers are intimately connected with the City of Brantford and local organizations such as the Brantford Police Service, civil society groups, school boards and health organizations. Laurier Brantford’s annual Academic, Creative and Engaged Research Showcase (ACERS) invites the public to engage with student research.
Laurier is committed to a Milton campus. With a Master of Education program already underway and a vision to start more programs in the future, it has a longstanding relationship with the Town of Milton and a number of local organizations. Its popular Milton Lecture Series brings Laurier research to the public. Some Laurier researchers are beginning to partner with Milton organizations – for example, biologists are working with a Milton consulting engineering firm to build suburban wetlands.
To deepen its longstanding research partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), Laurier opened a Yellowknife research office in 2017. In addition to its close work with the GNWT, Laurier maintains research partnerships with a variety of Yellowknife organizations such as Ecology North, Yellowknife Famers Market and the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.
Laurier has a deep commitment to Indigenization, a term that reflects the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge into the daily life of the university. This includes doing research with Indigenous communities, not about them.
Whether working with First Nations, Inuit or Métis individuals, organizations or communities in Canada, or with Indigenous peoples elsewhere in the world, Laurier researchers work in the spirit of respect, collaboration and reconciliation. They are guided in part by Laurier’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives as well as by Chapter 9 of the Tri-Council Policy Statement 2, “Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada,” which serves as a framework for the ethical conduct of research involving Indigenous peoples.
A critical mass of Laurier researchers works with communities on issues related to Indigenous governance and rights. Laurier researchers also co-lead two Global Water Futures projects with Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario and the Northwest Territories. Events such as the annual Indigenist Research Symposium share Indigenous research with the wider community.
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