On August 22, the Office of the Vice-President & Principal announced the official name of the North building. In collaboration with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN), the building was granted the name “Maanjiwe Nendamowinan .” The name translates to “Gathering of Minds” in Anishinaabemowin.
The naming of the building began last year with an announcement from Interim Chief Administration Officer Susan Senese, who asked for suggestions from the UTM community. The name suggestions were then reviewed by the North 2 Naming Committee composed of students, staff, and faculty.
“The Naming Committee unanimously recommended that an Indigenous name be considered for the new building,” said Saher Fazilat, Chief Administration Officer, in a past interview with The Medium.
Maanjiwe nendamowian “captures, so perfectly, the spirit and purpose of our new building,” said Vice-Principal Amrita Daniere in the announcement. “The committee unanimously recommended that UTM pursue a name that reflects the land on which the campus operates and U of T’s ongoing response to the federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
A variety of students have expressed their opinions regarding the Indigenous origin of the Maanjiwe nendamowian building’s name.
Joseph Bargan, a third-year computer science student, says “it’s very inspiring and heart-warming to see UTM walk the talk of land acknowledgement.”
First-year student, Daniella Gonsalves, agrees with Bargan saying that “such an acknowledgement exemplifies how UTM is grounded in recognizing and subsequently valuing its past.”
Unsure of the desired outcome, third-year political science and philosophy student, Kyla Couture says, “If the university’s goal was to pay homage to the Indigenous tribes, I don’t know if this was necessarily the best way.”
Six academic departments have moved into the Maanjiwe nendamowian building including the sociology, philosophy, language studies, historical studies, and English and drama departments.
The Maanjiwe nendamowian building is 220,600 gross square feet and is a LEED Gold candidate. The six-story building also added over 500 new study spaces and a special event space.