As a board member of the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA), I have been watching closely the recent events at the construction site of the Thirty-Metre Telescope (TMT) at Mauna Kea, Hawaii, and consulting with my colleagues at the University of Toronto.
The University of Toronto has a strong commitment to the success of its astronomy scholars. We have been involved with the development of the TMT for many years. Our position has been that a project of this nature must be developed where it is welcomed and with the engagement and support of the local community. I understand that the TMT project is committed to being good stewards on the mountain and inclusive of the Hawaiian community.
The University of Toronto does not condone the use of police force in furthering its research objectives. I have conveyed these views through ACURA, which represents the Canadian academic astronomy community in this project.
We know through our own Canadian experience that a commitment to Truth and Reconciliation impels us to consult and engage with Indigenous communities and to work collaboratively towards change. We must work to uphold those principles as we engage with Indigenous communities beyond our borders as well as within them.
Professor Vivek Goel
Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives
University of Toronto
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