In the fall of 2014, York University and Office of the Vice President Academic & Provost hosted an event entitled “Making the University a more Hospitable Space for Indigenous scholars, students and staff.” Provost Rhonda Lenton announced that Hart House would be renovated and become a space on campus to host and support Indigenous students, Indigenous staff and faculty. The office of the Vice-President Academic & Provost, the Office of the Vice-President Finance and Administration, and Osgoode Hall Law School generously provided the funds for this project. The renovations are completed and CASS will be administering the site. It has been proposed to rename Hart House to an appropriate Indigenous name, to Skennen’kó:wa Gamig which translates into The House of Great Peace.
Hart House will serve in a number of functions including providing a safe cultural space on campus for formal and informal use by Indigenous students, staff and faculty. In addition to casual congregating, student groups will use the facility for a range of activities including Elder events, workshops and meetings. CASS will use the space to support cultural programs including Elder events, workshops, and teachings. Faculty members will use the space for Indigenous related teaching, speaker series, and Indigenous graduation receptions. The capacity is restricted to 29.
User Groups of the space
The following groups will be granted access to the facility. Other groups may be added from time to time and deemed appropriate by CASS. Each group will identify approved users from within its group and forward the names and student numbers (where applicable) of those users to CASS for entry into the electronic building access system:
1) Centre for Aboriginal Student Services
2) Aboriginal Students Association at York
3) Osgoode Indigenous Students Association
4) Indigenous Students Association at Glendon
5) Indigenous Council of York University
6) Indigenous staff
7) Indigenous faculty members