225 Years in the Making: How Canadian Universities Honour the Jay Treaty Through Cross-Border Tuition Policies
Michael O’Shea | 2022
Cree translation in development and available soon.
Universities on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border can act on their historical Jay Treaty responsibilities to support Indigenous student success. In the last seven years, several Canadian universities have adopted policies that extend domestic tuition rates to Indigenous students living in the United States (U.S.), exempting them from international tuition fees. In doing so, the institutions referenced their responsibilities under the Jay Treaty of 1794, which recognizes the pre-existing right of Indigenous peoples to freely cross the U.S.-Canada border and engage in trade. While the United States does recognize the Jay Treaty — albeit with blood quantum and documentation requirements — the Canadian government does not. This brief policy explains how and why these universities adopted these policies and how other universities in Canada may follow suit, bringing their actions in line with their commitments to reconciliation and decolonization in the Trust and Reconciliation Commission (TRC, 2015) era.
Michael O’Shea is a higher education practitioner and scholar. As a PhD candidate studying under Dr. Stephanie Waterman (Onondaga, Turtle Clan) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, his research explores how Canadian universities can act on their historic Treaty obligations to better support Indigenous students across the U.S.-Canada border. He has been awarded a Fulbright student award and SSHRC graduate award for his research.