Departing President grants Royal College a gift with roots
“The President opens all Council meetings with a short statement to acknowledge that the location of these meetings is on the traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin People. At one time, there was likely a dense forest on this land; but that changed as the land was settled and trees were removed to erect the building that now houses the Royal College. So, in the spirit of giving back what we took away from the land, my parting gift to the Royal College is a tree.
This tree is my way of acknowledging this land’s history and the important role of Indigenous Peoples as caretakers of the land. I chose a red oak because it symbolizes strength, morale, resistance and knowledge. These are all qualities that are important for reconciling the past and building a new and better way forward. I look forward to seeing this tree grow and thrive in the years to come; hopefully, in ways that reflect the Royal College’s deepening relationship with our Indigenous partners and communities — may they both flourish!”
— Francoise P. Chagnon, MDCM, FRCSC, FACS, C.Dir
Royal College President (February 2017-2019)