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Remembering the neutrino

Nobel Prize-winning science was celebrated at a special event. 

  • [Photo of John Fisher, Daniel Woolf, George Ewan, Art McDonald, and Jan Allen]
    VIPs pose with the Nobel medal display at the Agnes. L-R: Marc Dignam, Head of the Physics Department; John Fisher, Interim VP (Research); Daniel Woolf, Principal; George Ewan, Professor Emeritus; Art McDonald, Nobel laureate; and Jan Allen, Director of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • [Nobel Medal Replica]
    A replica of the Nobel Prize medal won by Art McDonald is now permanently on display at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. (Photo by Bernard Clark)
  • [Past and present Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) employees and their family members]
    Proving that research is a team effort, past and present Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) employees and their family members gather around the plinth. (University Communications)
  • [Janet McDonald and other attendees]
    Janet McDonald (foreground), wife of Art McDonald, and other spectators flip through the plinth's pages. (University Communications)
  • [George Ewan, Art McDonald, and Daniel Woolf]
    George Ewan, Art McDonald, and Daniel Woolf pose with chocolates resembling the three 'flavours' of neutrinos. (University Communications)

On Monday, representatives from across the Queen’s community gathered to celebrate two new installations that will commemorate the Nobel Prize-winning research discoveries of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) scientific collaboration led by Dr. Art McDonald, Gordon and Patricia Gray Chair in Particle Astrophysics Emeritus in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy at Queen’s.

Dr. McDonald was the co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of neutrino oscillations, a phenomenon which proved that neutrinos have mass. He shared the prize with Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo, whose research made similar detections possible.

Neutrinos, which are sometimes referred to as the ‘building blocks of the universe’, are tiny subatomic particles with almost no mass and no charge. The SNO Collaboration’s discovery increased human understanding of these particles, which ultimately helps scientists understand how stars, galaxies, and the universe itself has evolved since the Big Bang.

To celebrate the discovery, the university has unveiled a monument between Ontario Hall and Grant Hall to share the fascinating story of the neutrino breakthrough with visitors to campus. This plinth is part of the Queen’s Remembers series, an initiative that commemorates those who have made significant and noteworthy contributions to Queen's University.

“Queen’s University has been wonderfully supportive of the SNO research work and continues to support strongly the ongoing work at the SNOLAB underground laboratory,” says Dr. McDonald. “Those of us who have worked on SNO are very appreciative of this commemoration of the important contributions of many Queen’s students, post-doctoral fellows, staff, and faculty that led to this scientific success.”

Additionally, a replica of Dr. McDonald’s Nobel Prize medal will be permanently displayed at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. The display will be located in a busy hallway between the gallery and Etherington House, and will include details about the experiment.

“The research conducted by the incredible team at SNO, under the leadership of Dr. Art McDonald, has an impact that goes far beyond Queen’s University,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “The vision of those who started the collaboration, including Dr. George Ewan, Professor Emeritus of the Physics Department at Queen’s, and the late Dr. Herb Chen, and the dedication of all who have worked on it since, have helped Canada become a leader in the field of particle astrophysics. We are delighted to recognize and celebrate their achievement with these two inspirational displays.”

Previous Queen’s Remembers plinths have recognized the traditional inhabitants of the Kingston area—the Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee peoples—and the 5th Field Company, a group of soldiers primarily comprised of Queen’s students and faculty who served and gave their lives in both World Wars. To learn more about the Queen’s Remembers initiative, visit the Queen’s Encyclopedia.

Engaging the community in inclusivity

The 2017-18 budget allocated $1 million for diversity and inclusivity initiatives, including support for ideas from the community.

[The QBAS conference team]
The Queen's Black Academic Society (QBAS) conference team. From left to right: Dayna Richards (Artsci '19), Kianah Lecuyer (Artsci '19), Maclite Tesfaye (Artsci '19), Sydney Williams (Artsci '18), and Brandon Tyrell (Artsci '19). (Photo by Zoe Walwyn)

When the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI) issued its final report last year, the university was given dozens of recommendations to respond to – creating new positions, updating policies, and funding initiatives.

To help meet some of the needs, the university set aside $1 million per year over three years dedicated specifically to diversity and inclusivity initiatives. The funding has primarily been used to pay for a number of big-picture priorities, but some was put aside to support community initiatives – mainly to bring in speakers and host events.

“A more diverse campus community enhances our academic mission, our student experience, and our research,” says Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion). “These initiatives have offered many opportunities to share diverse perspectives and ideas across the university over the past year, and I thank all of the organizers who are helping us build a more inclusive community.”

[Photo from Mus[interpreted] art collection]
Additional funding for the Journal of Critical Race Inquiry has allowed them to purchase art like this image, from the “Truth & Dare Project” by Zahra Agjee, to enhance the journal’s presentation. (Supplied Photo)

A total of six initiatives were funded, resulting in dozens of high profile speakers visiting campus and some enhancements to a key diversity publication produced at Queen’s.

The Journal of Critical Race Inquiry, a publication based in Queen’s Gender Studies department, received some additional funding to help with the journal’s long-term planning and allowed them to make some investments to enhance the journal’s presentation – for instance, the February edition featured an art piece from the (Mus)interpreted project. Providing more funding for the journal was a recommendation of the PICRDI report.

In the academic year ahead, Samantha King, Head of the Department of Gender Studies, says the journal is planning an international symposium and special issue on ‘Decolonial Sex and Love’.

The Studies in National and International Development (SNID) speaker series was another initiative which received support. In addition to featuring 12 Queen’s academics, SNID 2017-18 co-chair Karen Dubinsky says the funding they received helped them bring in 12 up-and-coming speakers.

Upcoming Events
SNID: Regulating Romance: Hindus, Muslims and Proscribed Pleasures in Modern India – Thurs, Apr 19, 5 – 6:30 pm, Mackintosh-Corry Hall Room D214

Muslim Societies, Global Perspectives: The Medieval Mediterranean: Interconnected Histories – Sat, Apr 28, 9 am – 5 pm, Watson Hall Room 217

“Some of the highlights of this year’s series were Tanya Talaga, author of Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Deaths and Hard Truths in a Northern City; and Robin Maynard, author of Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present,” says Dr. Dubinsky, who is a Professor in Global Development Studies and History. “Both of these authors came to Queen’s at the beginning their book tours, and these titles have since become celebrated across Canada.”

Other groups across the institution and the Kingston community joined in with the Provost’s Office to help fund some of these programs. For example, the Faculty of Arts & Science partnered with the Provost’s Office to help fund the Muslim Societies-Global Perspectives initiative, which hosted a series of events looking at the legacy of Kingston resident and Syrian immigrant George Masoud, the 2017 Québec mosque massacre, and medieval Jerusalem.

[Adnan Husain, Ariel Salzmann, Gord Dueck]
Adnan Husain, Ariel Salzmann, and Gord Dueck of the History Department pose with a poster from their event about the life of George Masoud. (University Communications)

The support also resulted in some brand new projects, such as the Future of Black Scholarship Conference organized by the Queen’s Black Academic Society. More than 90 students, faculty, and alumni attended, and organizers say they hope to build on that with a second conference in 2019. Various community and corporate sponsors supplemented the Provost’s Office sponsorship.

Dr. Shearer says the Provost’s Office will seek to raise awareness of the opportunity to apply for funding in the year ahead. Her office is currently drafting terms of reference for the application process, which will be unveiled this fall.

Reports will be issued in the near future which detail the university’s overall progress in meeting the PICRDI recommendations since the report was issued last year. You can find links to all the mid-term updates on the Deputy Provost’s webpage.

Dreams of reconciliation

Among the Principal’s Dream Courses funded last year, two courses were specifically focused on sharing Indigenous knowledge.

For one group of students, their semester-long dive into Indigenous culture is nearing an end – while another class gets set to begin its journey this summer.

[Lee Maracle]
Lee Maracle, an early Indigenous feminist, activist, and writer, speaks to the ENGL218 class. (University Communications)

Heather Macfarlane, Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of English, has just recently completed the first offering of ENGL218: Introduction to Indigenous Literature in Canada. The course examined Indigenous novels, traditional stories, poetry, short stories and plays from various time periods, written by Métis, Inuit and First Nations authors.

“My goal was to provide the students with insight into Indigenous cultures that they might not otherwise have,” she says. “Students love to have answers but I wanted to open things up for them, and show them how much there was to learn about Indigenous Peoples in Canada. I want to get them asking questions, with the goal that they ended up with more questions than when they started.”

Texts for ENGL218 – Introduction to Indigenous Literature
● Dimaline, Cherie. The Marrow Thieves.
● Halfe, Louise. Burning in this Midnight Dream.
● Maracle, Lee. Sojourner’s Truth and Other Stories.
● Moses, Daniel David. Almighty Voice and his Wife.
● Robertson, David Alexander. Betty: the Helen Betty Osborne Story.
● Ruffo, Armand Garnet. Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing into Thunderbird.
● Van Camp, Richard. The Lesser Blessed.

In addition to reading the stories, the class of 54 students also welcomed a number of the authors to campus for weekly guest lectures. To engage them in these talks, Dr. Macfarlane had the class conduct traditional greetings, introduce the authors, and prepare thoughtful questions in advance.

The speakers included Onangaate, a knowledge keeper from the Kingston Indigenous community; Lee Maracle, an early Indigenous feminist, activist, and writer; and two authors from Queen’s including Daniel David Moses of the Drama department and Armand Ruffo of the English department. The final speaker was Louise Halfe, who shared poems about her experiences as a student at a residential school.

Of particular interest to the students was Cherie Dimaline, winner of the 2017 Governor General's Award for English-language children's literature. Ms. Dimaline was the author of dystopian post-apocalyptic book The Marrow Thieves.

Dr. Macfarlane’s course will be offered again this fall, potentially with changes to the author lineup. The talks are being video recorded, and Dr. Macfarlane hopes to use the recordings with future offerings of the course if it becomes a permanent addition to the department’s course lineup.

“I am thankful for the Principal’s Dream Course funding, as I would not have been able to bring the authors in otherwise,” she says. “I am hopeful the fall intake will be even more popular than this term’s offering.”

[Students walk along a rocky trail]
Indigenous community members lead students on a nature walk. (Supplied Photo)

In June, another Dream Course will get underway as Heather Castleden begins her first offering of GPHY309: Indigenous Perspectives on the Environment and Health. This field school is an opportunity to meet with Indigenous peoples to learn directly from them about their interconnected relationships with the land, environmental management, and human health.

“This is based on a field school I used to offer at Dalhousie University, and builds on many of the same relationships I developed when I was working out in Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia),” says Dr. Castleden, who is the Canada Research Chair in Reconciling Relations for Health, Environments, and Communities. “There seems to be a lot of excitement from the students - that Queen’s is finally offering something like this.”

As part of the three-week course, students will spend two weeks in Mi’kma’ki meeting with members of several Mi'kmaw First Nations.

[Google Maps screenshot of the students' route through Nova Scotia]
Dr. Castleden's students will be on the road for 14 hours as they meet with Indigenous communities across Nova Scotia. (Google Maps)

Their travels will take them to, for example, Pictou Landing, an Indigenous community that has been heavily affected by a local pulp and paper mill; to Unama’ki (Cape Breton), where they will learn about two-eyed seeing from the Elder who originated the principle. of embracing the best of both Indigenous and Western knowledge systems.They will meet with other Indigenous knowledge-holders that apply this principle to interpreting the local archaeological history and geological formations.

If time permits, they’ll also participate in a cultural camp in Bear River on the western side of Nova Scotia.

Along the way, they will connect with the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs, visit the site of a centralized residential school, go eel fishing at night (if the weather cooperates), and participate in land-based learning activities. The students have also been invited to a pow wow. The focus is on experiential learning with many in-person meetings and engaging in ceremony when invited to do so by Mi’kmaw hosts.

“This field school is meant to challenge the students emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually,” says Dr. Castleden. “When they get back to Kingston, the students will each have the opportunity to reflect on their experience by preparing short video stories, which will be showcased at a special open event on June 15.”

When the course is offered for a second time next year, Dr. Castleden says she may take the field school out to the west coast where she has other established relationships instead – though she is also keen to eventually develop local relationships so students can experience something similar in southeastern Ontario.

[Principal's Dream Course logo]
The logo for the Principal's Dream Courses program. (Supplied Photo)

Each year, the Principal’s Office funds a number of courses through the Principal’s Dream Course program. Interested faculty should submit proposals tied to key themes, such as sustainability, Indigenous knowledge, and diversity and inclusion, and successful proposals are granted up to $15,000 in one-time funding to offer the course for at least two iterations.

The Principal’s Dream Course program is administered by the Centre for Teaching and Learning – learn more about it on the CTL’s website. The 2018/19 recipients will be announced in the near future.

One year of ‘Extending the Rafters’

An event on campus marked the anniversary of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force's final report.

  • On Friday afternoon, members of the community met at the Agnes to create art designed to inspire a visual response to the Truth and Reconciliation Task Force report's recommendations. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    On Friday afternoon, members of the community met at the Agnes to create art designed to inspire a visual response to the Truth and Reconciliation Task Force report's recommendations. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) speaks with attendees of the "Extending the Rafters" event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) speaks with attendees of the "Extending the Rafters" event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Members of the Queen’s community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Members of the Queen’s community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the release of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • There were performances by Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee singers, as well as a traditional feast. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    There were performances by Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee singers, as well as a traditional feast. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
  • Law students Sofia Gabbani and Lauren Winkler take questions from the podium at the "Extending the Rafters" event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)
    Law students Sofia Gabbani and Lauren Winkler take questions from the podium at the "Extending the Rafters" event. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

Friday saw a feast of celebrations at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, as members of the Queen’s and local Indigenous communities came together to mark an important anniversary.

In March 2017, the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Task Force issued its final report. “Extending the Rafters” contained 25 recommendations aimed at building better relations between Queen’s and Indigenous communities. It acknowledged the role Queen’s has played in traditions which caused harm to Indigenous communities, and that the institution needed to do a better job in educating students about Indigenous Peoples. Later this month, the Provost’s Office will release a formal report that will provide an update on the progress made on those recommendations.  

In the meantime, the event, which was hosted by the Agnes and the Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, offered attendees the opportunity to reflect and celebrate the year gone by. Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Director of Indigenous Initiatives, opened the event with brief remarks, and there were performances by Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee singers.

This event was generously funded by the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area: Jim & Julie Parker Fund, The Regina Rosen Fund, The Edward Ratcliffe Fund, and the Larry Gibson Community Fund.

Some members of the Queen’s community have also offered up their thoughts to the Gazette on reconciliation efforts at Queen’s over the past year:

Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Director, Indigenous Initiatives; and TRC Task Force member

“I am pleased and encouraged by the level of engagement with the report and recommendations across every sector of the university.

Senior administration very early on undertook KAIROS and Cultural Safety training, thereby modeling to the rest of campus the importance of taking responsibility for our own learning. Strategic planning documents are considering and incorporating aspects of Indigenous knowledge and engagement; events and services are working towards inclusion of Indigenous customs and language; faculties are increasing Indigenous knowledges in faculty hires and curriculum; and student groups are being more mindful of inclusion of Indigenous students, customs, and language.

As many have said, we still have a lot of work to do but we have made amazing progress this year and I am hopeful going forward.”

Thanyehténhas (Nathan Brinklow), Lecturer in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and part-time Chaplain

"I have been very excited to see the progress of the Mohawk Language Certificate as it approaches final approval. This is exactly the kind of program which the university can support that will make a positive contribution to the future of the language in our communities. The support from the various committees who have offered their input has been very encouraging and it is just one small part of the overall direction and mandate from the TRC that the university has embraced."

Kandice Baptiste, Director, Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre

"As we reflect on the contributions of both the national and Queen’s reports and their calls to action, it’s important to honour the spirit of which those reports were crafted in. Reconciliation requires actions born out of love; for land, nationhood, youth, knowledge keepers, and a future that breathes new life into creating a more just country and campus."

Mark Green, Professor and Associate Head, Civil Engineering; and co-chair of the TRC Task Force

"I was honoured and excited to be a part of the TRC task force team. I have been quite delighted at the response the report has received and the leadership taken by senior university administration in terms of readily implementing many of the initial recommendations. I can see great progress has been made over the past year.

There has also been a groundswell, a grassroots response - people at every level of the university want to contribute in different ways. The leadership has helped to make that happen, but a lot of people are thinking it is the right thing to do and want to contribute.

There still is a lot to do. Modifications to curriculum, and building real connections to Indigenous communities where we can have long-term impact in building capacity, will be challenges moving forward."

Vanessa McCourt, Aboriginal Advisor, Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre; and member of the TRC Task Force

"As the contact staff who sends out event notices to the broader Queen’s community, I can say it has been a remarkably busy year since the release of the TRC task force report! Many faculties, departments, student groups have taken it upon themselves to organize events incorporating Indigeneity and beginning the work of reconciliation.

My hope is that this momentum continues. While there is much being done, much more still needs to be accomplished. Our students are still feeling unsafe on campus, primarily in classroom settings – both by other students in the class, and their professors."

Wiiwagaa'ige (Darian Doblej) (Artsci’18), member of the University Council on Anti-racism and Equity (UCARE), and Co-chair of the Queen’s Native Students Association Conference Planning Committee 

"I am proud to see Queen's take steps to make campus a better place for Indigenous students. But there is always much more to do. The end of the report should have read 'to be continued' as this work will never end here on campus so far that Indigenous students aren't achieving their full potential, and that Queen's students aren't being fully educated on issues that matter to Canada, their fields, and to them.

As we look to one year and beyond, we have an opportunity to make history and create new paths to be one of the best campuses across Canada for Indigenous students. The TRC gives Queen's the mandate to set out an ambitious vision, take bold steps and think of new ways."

Dylan Robinson, Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts

“I am happy to see the university implementing change that responds to the TRC report. And yet the reality is that we still have few Indigenous faculty at Queen’s, and the kind of transformation called for in the report will not be able to occur without the leadership of Indigenous faculty across all departments and programs.”

Doctoral candidate receives inaugural art award

Tanya Lukin Linklater is the first recipient of the Wanda Koop Research Fund, which supports mid-career artists.

[Tanya Lukin Linklater]
Tanya Lukin Linklater is a doctoral candidate and artist. She recently received a national research fund recognizing her work. (Photo by Brandon Gray)

It was a call Tanya Lukin Linklater wasn’t expecting.

Ms. Lukin Linklater, an artist and Queen’s doctoral candidate, was recently named the recipient of the Canadian Art Foundation’s inaugural Wanda Koop Research Fund. This new research fund, worth $15,000, was named for the Winnipeg artist appearing on the cover of the first issue of Canadian Art in fall 1984.

Ms. Lukin Linklater is Alutiiq and originates from the Native Villages of Afognak and Port Lions in Alaska. She is currently based in northern Ontario, and that setting has been inspiring her most recent work.

“I spend time thinking through and investigating Indigenous ideas in dance, performance, video, and installation primarily,” she says. “My work carries a deep responsibility to Indigenous peoples, and I am mindful to work in a good way and to respectfully be in relation to community. I follow questions or ideas, investigating where they will go, and that helps me determine which medium I work in and through to share an idea.”

Most recently, Ms. Lukin Linklater developed a performance called Sun Force, in response to the work of Rita Letendre at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Ms. Lukin Linklater was an artist-in-residence at the Art Gallery of Ontario where Rita Letendre’s retrospective, Fire & Light, was shown. Letendre’s practice of abstract painting became the impetus for Ms. Lukin Linklater’s performance.

She also completed a video entitled The treaty is the body which shares Indigenous understandings of treaty relationships, and challenges non-Indigenous audiences to consider their responsibilities in relation to treaty.

[A still from The treaty is the body video. By Tanya Lukin Linklater and Liz Lott]
A still from The treaty is the body video highlighting two of the video's youth dancers. (Photo by Tanya Lukin Linklater and Liz Lott)

The recipients of the Wanda Koop Research Fund are selected by a ‘who’s-who’ of art experts from across the country. The judging panel called Ms. Lukin Linklater’s work, “complex, engaging, multidimensional, and inspiring”.

“Our selection recognizes an artist who continues to grow and flourish in her art creation and intellectual artistic investigations,” Julie Nagam, chair of the history of Indigenous arts of North America at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the University of Winnipeg told CanadianArt.ca on behalf of the judging panel. “Her practice is leading the way in terms of performance, dance and installation-based work and we were excited for her to be the inaugural recipient of a mid-career award for a visual artist.”

[Sun Force by Tanya Lukin Linklater]
Sun Force by Tanya Lukin Linklater. (Supplied Photo)

Ms. Lukin Linklater’s next works will explore Alaskan Native objects – a topic that is personal to her, but one she has not revisited recently. The Queen’s community will get to see the outcome of that work as she produces a new performance for the Soundings Festival that is scheduled for March 2019 at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

In the meantime, Ms. Lukin Linklater also has her doctoral studies to work on. She started her doctorate part-time in 2015 in the field of cultural studies. Ms. Lukin Linklater’s supervisor, Dylan Robinson, was pleased to hear about the recognition for her artistic practice.

“Her work has received significant attention over the past few years, with major commissions including her work for La Biennale de Montréal in 2016 and her participation in documenta 14, a major international series of contemporary art exhibitions,” says Dr. Robinson, who is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s. “The PhD research she has undertaken through Queens’ Cultural Studies Program is exciting and this important award recognizes her leadership in the area of Indigenous research-creation.”

“I am privileged to work with Dr. Robinson and my committee,” she says. “My doctoral work has contributed significantly to my practice by reminding me of some of the essential questions I grapple with – for example, how Indigenous ways of being and knowing are embodied in our present circumstances, despite colonialism – while giving me an opportunity to investigate, learn, and contribute to the production of knowledge in the field of Indigenous arts.”

The Wanda Koop Research Fund prize is valued at $15,000, and is intended to support travel and research costs.

To learn more about Tanya Lukin Linklater and her work, visit her website. She was also recently featured on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC’s) Exhibitionists program.

Students answer the prime minister’s reconciliation challenge

A joint class of Arts and Science students examined the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and settler communities through a social justice exposition.

  • Penny Cornwall (Artsci’18) speaks with Madeline Heinke (Artsci'18) in front of their team's exhibit, Maanamaji'o. The word means "the community (or the person) is sick." (University Communications)
    Penny Cornwall (Artsci’18) speaks with Madeline Heinke (Artsci'18) in front of their team's exhibit, Maanamaji'o. The word means "the community (or the person) is sick." (University Communications)
  • The Maanamaji'o exhibit includes items gathered from Pikangikum. The First Nations community has "an alarmingly high suicide rate", says Ms. Cornwall. (University Communications)
    The Maanamaji'o exhibit includes items gathered from Pikangikum. The First Nations community has "an alarmingly high suicide rate", says Ms. Cornwall. (University Communications)
  • Other topics explored by the joint class include "The Monstrous Other" in pop culture - demonstrating unfair portrayals of, among others, Indigenous Peoples. (University Communications)
    Other topics explored by the joint class include "The Monstrous Other" in pop culture - demonstrating unfair portrayals of, among others, Indigenous Peoples. (University Communications)
  • Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre performs an honour song to open the expo. (University Communications)
    Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre performs an honour song to open the expo. (University Communications)
  • Thohahoken (Michael Doxtater) and student Cosimo Morin (Artsci'18) lead the joint class in an Indigenous song the class rehearsed in anticipation of the event. (University Communications)
    Thohahoken (Michael Doxtater) and student Cosimo Morin (Artsci'18) lead the joint class in an Indigenous song the class rehearsed in anticipation of the event. (University Communications)

Students in a Global Development Studies course and a Languages, Literatures, and Cultures course have come together to spark a dialogue around the issues identified in the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report.

Under the guidance of Thohahoken (Michael Doxtater), Queen's National Scholar in Indigenous Studies: Land- and Language-Based Pedagogies and Practices, the students have organized the “Treaty Peoples Social Justice Expo”, a poster fair in Stirling Hall. The event was aimed at increasing awareness of Indigenous Peoples issues and honour their cultures and languages. The idea to host a poster fair was Dr. Doxtater’s, as a way to foster his students’ learning while also providing them an opportunity to find topics that relate to their interests.

“The aim was to engage these young people in the prime minister’s challenge to ‘move towards a nation-to-nation relationship based on recognition, rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership’,” says Dr. Doxtater. “I am proud of the students’ efforts, and pleased that we were able to engage two distinct classes in this multidisciplinary look at contemporary Indigenous issues.”

To help create a respectful and inclusive environment, Wednesday’s event opened with greetings from Elder Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) of Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre. Then, guests were welcome to explore the room and learn about 13 topics related to the well-being of Indigenous Peoples.

“The poster fair included examinations of issues such as environmental resistance and the impact of development on Indigenous health, incarceration of Indigenous peoples, and even portrayals of Indigenous Peoples in sports,” says Penny Cornwall (Artsci’18), one of the organizers. “My team’s project, Maanamanji’o, focused on suicide and mental health in Pikangikum First Nation – a community with an alarmingly high suicide rate.”

Ms. Cornwall notes one of her peers has a personal connection to the Pikangikum community, and this student’s passion led the team to explore that topic.

Dr. Doxtater was hired in 2017 as part of the Principal’s faculty renewal efforts. He is a Queen’s National Scholar cross-appointed to the Departments of Global Development Studies and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Learn more about Dr. Doxtater here.

Equity Office turns 20

The Queen’s Equity Office marked a milestone and celebrated equity leaders from across Queen’s at an annual symposium.

  • 2017 Tri-Award recipients, along with the Provost and Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion). L-R, back to front: Erin LeBlanc, Michael Fisher, Ian Casson, Deputy Provost Teri Shearer, Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Tricia Baldwin, Charlotte Johnston, Em Osborne. (University Communications)
    2017 Tri-Award recipients, along with the Provost and Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion). L-R, back to front: Erin LeBlanc, Michael Fisher, Ian Casson, Deputy Provost Teri Shearer, Provost Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Tricia Baldwin, Charlotte Johnston, Em Osborne. (University Communications)
  • A panel explored matters of equity and inclusion within higher education, and took questions from the audience. (University Communications)
    A panel explored matters of equity and inclusion within higher education, and took questions from the audience. (University Communications)
  • Ramna Safeer (Artsci'19), Social Issues Commissioner for the Alma Mater Society, shares a personal story during a panel discussion. (University Communications)
    Ramna Safeer (Artsci'19), Social Issues Commissioner for the Alma Mater Society, shares a personal story during a panel discussion. (University Communications)
  • This cake, printed with the Equity Office's logo on it, helped mark the office's 20th anniversary. (University Communications)
    This cake, printed with the Equity Office's logo on it, helped mark the office's 20th anniversary. (University Communications)
  • The Four Directions Women Singers played an honour song for the award winners, and a travelling song to mark the end of the event. Ramna Safeer (Artsci'19), Social Issues Commissioner for the Alma Mater Society, shares a personal story during a panel discussion. (University Communications)
    The Four Directions Women Singers played an honour song for the award winners, and a travelling song to mark the end of the event. Ramna Safeer (Artsci'19), Social Issues Commissioner for the Alma Mater Society, shares a personal story during a panel discussion. (University Communications)

The Queen’s Equity and Human Rights Offices congratulated various members of the Queen’s community on their efforts to build a more inclusive Queen’s, and celebrated two decades of its own work.

On Tuesday, the offices hosted their Tri-Awards Reception. This annual symposium featured leading speakers on equity and human rights, and recognized four Queen’s employees and two students for their efforts to build a more inclusive Queen’s University.

“We are fortunate in Canada to have a society rich in diversity, and it can be easy to forget that inclusion does not happen by accident,” says Stephanie Simpson, Executive Director (Human Rights and Equity Offices) and University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights. “Successful learning, living, and employment outcomes are the result of a shared responsibility and commitment. The annual Tri-Awards ceremony is a celebration of community as well as the individuals and groups who make remarkable contributions to the advancement of equity, human rights, accessibility, and inclusion here at Queen’s.”

The Equity Office was created following a university-wide restructuring of equity and human-rights initiatives in 1998, when then-Principal William Leggett hired Mary Margaret Dauphinee as Queen’s first University Advisor on Equity.

During the event, attendees honoured the recently retired University Advisor on Equity and Human Rights, Irène Bujara, who was in attendance.

The event’s booklet also paid tribute to Leo Yerxa, an Indigenous artist who created numerous images on behalf of the Queen’s Equity and Human Rights Offices. Yerxa passed away last year. His most recognizable work on the Queen’s campus were the “Woman Recreated” mosaics, which were created in 2012 to recognize the 20th anniversary of the Human Rights office. The mosaics continues to be displayed in the Dunning/Mac-Corry passage and Gordon Hall Room 401.

Here are the 2017 Equity Office Awards Recipients:

Employment Equity

Erin LeBlanc and Michael Fisher. (University Communications)
Erin LeBlanc and Michael Fisher. (University Communications)

Recipients: Michael Fisher, Human Resources Manager, and Erin LeBlanc (Artsci’82, LLM’12), Adjunct Lecturer (Smith School of Business)
Project: Transgender Transitioning Guideline

Fisher and LeBlanc worked together to initiate the development of Transgender Transitioning Guidelines for the Smith School of Business. Foundational to the process of developing these guidelines was the goal of identifying and removing barriers for individuals transitioning in the workplace both now and into the future.

Fisher exemplified the spirit of stepping up to the mark and then going beyond expectations in establishing a safe and supportive professional environment.

Through speaking opportunities and community engagement, LeBlanc continues to be an advocate in the areas for gender identity and gender expression at Queen's and beyond.

 

Human Rights Initiative

Tricia Baldwin. (University Communications)
Tricia Baldwin. (University Communications)

Recipient: Tricia Baldwin, Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
Project: Human Rights Festival at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

Based on tremendous contributions to the Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival, Baldwin was able to organize an event which provided a lasting benefit to the Queen's and Kingston community. In addition, it brought social justice messages to life and changed the cultural landscape through artistic mediums and experiences.

In 2018 the Human Rights Festival continued to grow and expand, attracting a diversity of attendees from the University, Kingston and beyond.

 

Steve Cutway Accessibility Award

Ian Casson. (University Communications)
Ian Casson. (University Communications)

First recipient: Ian Casson, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine
Project: Health Check Program

Over the past five years, Dr. Casson has been the driving force in developing, promoting and distributing tools to promote the innovative Health Check Program.

Housed within the Queen’s Department of Family Medicine, the primary care clinic implemented the Health Check Program to reduce inequities in health care for adults with intellectual and development disabilities.

Dr. Casson has worked unwaveringly throughout the progress of this initiative, all the while upholding the values of providing respectful and equitable health care to people with disabilities.

 

Em Osborne (left) and Charlotte Johnston (centre). (University Communications)
Em Osborne (left) and Charlotte Johnston (centre). (University Communications)

Second recipients: Em Osborne (Artsci’17) and Charlotte Johnston (Con.Ed’17) 
Project: Access Art

As part of the Isabel Centre Human Rights Art Festival, Johnston and Osborne were instrumental in organizing the widely successful Access Art project which examined intersecting facets of identity through artistic mediums.

Johnston and Osborne gave countless hours towards this project, with enthusiastic and positive attitudes amid the course of maintaining their academic endeavours.

As a quote from the visitor book states “The importance of this type of space cannot be overstated. You are making the change, and I’m humbled to witness it”.

 

To open the event, the audience heard from speakers Sheila Cote-Meek and Minelle Mahtani. Dr. Cote-Meek, who is Anishinaabe from the Teme-Augama Anishnabai, spoke to her experience as an Indigenous woman and as an academic, and offered suggestions on Indigenizing the academy and making it a more inclusive place for Indigenous Peoples.

Sheila Cote-Meek. (University Relations)

Dr. Mahtani’s talk, meanwhile, was focused on marginalized voices, and drew from her own experience as she worked to enter academia.

Following the two keynotes, Dr. Cote-Meek and Dr. Mahtani joined Queen’s own Ramna Safeer (Artsci’18), Social Issues Commissioner with the Alma Mater Society; Awet Weldemichael, Associate Professor and Queen's National Scholar on African and World History; Lauren Winkler (Artsci'17, JD'20), past president of the Queen’s Native Student Association and past member of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation task force; and Beverley Mullings, Associate Professor and Queen’s National Scholar in the Department of Geography and Planning, for a broader conversation about equity in academia.

Raising awareness of Indigenous identity

The student-led Indigenous Awareness Week featured high profile speakers and artists, along with events designed to bring the community together.

  • Throughout the week, the Queen's community was invited to contribute their thoughts to the question, "What does the term Indigenous mean to you?" (Supplied Photo)
    Throughout the week, the Queen's community was invited to contribute their thoughts to the question, "What does the term Indigenous mean to you?" (Supplied Photo)
  • Breton Burke (Artsci'18) chows down on bannock and cedar tea on Wednesday, as part of a charitable sale in the BioSciences Atrium. (University Communications)
    Breton Burke (Artsci'18) chows down on bannock and cedar tea on Wednesday, as part of a charitable sale in the BioSciences Atrium. (University Communications)
  • Jaylene Cardinal was one of the Indigenous artists who visited campus on Thursday as part of Indigenous Awareness Week. (University Communications)
    Jaylene Cardinal was one of the Indigenous artists who visited campus on Thursday as part of Indigenous Awareness Week. (University Communications)
  • L-R: Ellyn Jade, Model from Whitesand First Nation; Alexandra Young (ArtSci '18), Co-President of Vogue Charity Fashion Show; Wiiwagaa'ige (Darian Doblej) (ArtSci '18), Co-Chair of QNSA Conference; and Siera Bearchell, Métis citizen and Miss Universe Canada. (Photo by Stefany Li (ArtSci '18))
    L-R: Ellyn Jade, Model from Whitesand First Nation; Alexandra Young (ArtSci '18), Co-President of Vogue Charity Fashion Show; Wiiwagaa'ige (Darian Doblej) (ArtSci '18), Co-Chair of QNSA Conference; and Siera Bearchell, Métis citizen and Miss Universe Canada. (Photo by Stefany Li (ArtSci '18))
  • Clément Chartier, President of the Métis National Council, speaks on Friday at an event co-sponsored by the Institute for Intergovernmental Relations. (University Communications)
    Clément Chartier, President of the Métis National Council, speaks on Friday at an event co-sponsored by the Institute for Intergovernmental Relations. (University Communications)

Organizers of Indigenous Awareness Week 2018 are taking a moment to reflect back on the past week’s celebration of and exploration of Indigenous identity.

The annual conference and festival featured remarks by Indigenous artists, leaders, and celebrities; Indigenous food and culture events; and education opportunities for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples.

The week was the result of hard work by 60 Queen's Native Student Association (QNSA) volunteers, and support from departments including the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, the Grad Club, and the Institute for Intergovernmental Relations.

For more updates from the Queen's Native Student Association, visit their Facebook page.

Learn more about this year's conference.

Indigenous art collection grows with generous donation

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre has received a gift of Inuit prints and a bequest from Margaret McGowan (Artsci’78) and her husband.

Mattiusie Manakudluk (QC 1911-Puvirnituq QC 1968), In Summer They Went Camping, In Winter They Went for Seals, 1968, stonecut on paper, 27/30.  Gift of Margaret McGowan Artsci’78, 2017 (60-003.18). (Photo by Bernard Clark)
Mattiusie Manakudluk (QC 1911-Puvirnituq QC 1968), In Summer They Went Camping, In Winter They Went for Seals, 1968, stonecut on paper, 27/30.  Gift of Margaret McGowan Artsci’78, 2017 (60-003.18). (Photo by Bernard Clark)

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre has received a donation of 23 stone-cut and stencil prints from alumna Margaret McGowan (Artsci’78). Ms. McGowan and her husband have also sponsored a research studentship, and these gifts complement bequests that the couple had previously established.

“As a student at Queen’s, I visited the Agnes regularly to see the exhibits and to enjoy the peace and beauty of the original house,” she says. “Recently, a more immediate opportunity to make a gift presented itself. For years I collected early Inuit prints from Puvirnituq on the east coast of Hudson Bay in northern Québec. I offered the collection of 23 prints to Queen’s, and Professor Norman Vorano was enthusiastic about adding them to the Agnes’s collection. He suggested the prints would offer possibilities for programming, exhibitions, and academic and community-based research.”

The prints span the first decades of printmaking in the Puvirnituq community, from 1961 to 1989. Consisting of 23 works on paper, the donation provides a representative overview of the emergence of printmaking in this community. The prints focus on depictions of birds and animals, show hunting scenes, and life at camp, with a few of the illustrations representing stories from the oral history of the Inuit culture.

In addition to this gift, Ms. McGowan and her husband are supporting a research studentship specific to Indigenous art and with a priority focus on Inuit art. The Research Studentship in Indigenous Art will provide opportunities for Queen’s students to further their studies in art history, art conservation, or Indigenous studies; enable research into the prints of Puvirnituq; and benefit the collections and programs at the Agnes.

To be eligible for the studentship, interested students must submit their applications to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and a committee will decide on the recipient. The studentship will be granted on the basis of demonstrated knowledge, interest, and experience in the relevant disciplines, and the candidate's potential to contribute to the field.

Dr. Vorano, a Queen's National Scholar and Curator of Indigenous Art with the Agnes, says this donation is an excellent complement to the art centre’s existing Inuit graphic arts and resources.

“The McGowan donation will help Queen’s foster and support innovative student research, and enhance the experiential learning possibilities in the gallery and beyond,” says Dr. Vorano. “This donation will help us present a more comprehensive and comparative history of Arctic printmaking, and through the research studentship will also help attract Indigenous students and support a diverse array of graduate and upper-year undergraduate research.”

In addition to furthering scholarship on campus, these new art pieces and the studentship will support Queen’s in its reconciliation efforts. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission task force report called on the university to, among other things, raise awareness of the complex histories of Indigenous Peoples, and to enhance the visibility of Indigenous communities at Queen’s.

The donation
● Twenty-three stone-cut and stencil prints from Puvirnituq, an Inuit community in northern Québec. This donation was provided by Margaret McGowan.

● Ms. McGowan and her husband have also established the Research Studentship in Indigenous Art – an active research studentship focused on Indigenous art with a preference on Inuit art. This is in addition to a research studentship the couple had previously established as part of an estate gift.

● Also as part of the estate gift, a program will be created to provide bursaries for elementary and high school students participating in public and art education programs at the Agnes.

The donations also build on past commitments that Ms. McGowan and her husband have made to the Agnes. The couple had previously established two bequests which will establish a second research studentship, and will create a bursary program that will provide full or partial bursaries for elementary and high school students participating in public and art education programming presented by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. 

“I am tremendously grateful to Ms. McGowan and her husband for this generous gift of art, which enables us to better reflect the complex expression of Inuit culture, and for such thoughtful support for related research,” says Jan Allen, Director of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. “We look forward to sharing new insights and to presenting these extraordinary prints for all to enjoy, as part of the expanding presence of Indigenous culture on campus and across the wider community.”

A selection of the Puvirnituq prints will be displayed at the Agnes in the spring and summer 2019.

The timing of this donation is also significant, as it comes just as the Master of Art Conservation program announced a $632,000 grant over five years from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant will be used to develop conservation research and online courses with a focus on Indigenous material culture.

For more information on art exhibits at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, visit agnes.queensu.ca.

Think DIFF-erently

DIFF – the Diversity & Inclusion Film Festival – will take you from Australia, to Uganda, to China, and Egypt – all without leaving Queen’s.

A new film festival at Queen’s will bring the Queen’s community together for reflections and celebrations of people from all over the world.

The Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival (DIFF), which runs from March 20 to March 28 – is being hosted by the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS), the Queen’s University International Centre, and Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, among others.

Atul Jaiswal, International Commissioner for the SGPS and doctoral candidate in Rehabilitation Science, says the goal of the festival is to strengthen the connections between the domestic and international students.

“We intend to use movies as a tool to showcase the culture unique to the specific region and how people could appreciate each other’s culture and start accepting and including everyone,” he says.

A promotional image for "Bran Nue Dae", a film about an Aboriginal Australian teenager which will be shown at the Diversity & Inclusion Film Festival. (Supplied Photo)
A promotional image for Bran Nue Dae. The film, which is about an Aboriginal Australian teenager named Willie, will be shown at the Diversity & Inclusion Film Festival. (Supplied Photo)

The festival will feature five different films – each representing different areas of the world. The first up, Bran Nue Dae, is about the coming of age of an Aboriginal Australian teenager.

Other films to be examined include Queen of Katwe, about a Ugandan girl who becomes a Woman Candidate Master in chess, on Wednesday, March 21; About Elly, a murder mystery involving several Iranian couples on vacation, on Friday, March 23; Confucius, a biographical film about the legendary philosopher, on Tuesday, March 27; and Cairo Drive, a film about navigating traffic in Egypt set against the backdrop of the 2011 revolution, on Wednesday, March 28.

Each film screening will be accompanied by a panel discussion led by students’ facilitators from the same region to engage the Queen's community and build cultural understanding. The festival will conclude with the screening of Cairo Drive and a Jeopardy! event all about world cultures.

“We believe that this event may start the conversations around the importance of each culture that the students from different parts of the world bring on campus,” says Mr. Jaiswal. “One cannot appreciate the beauty of a rainbow until one understands the importance of each colour in making the rainbow possible. Similarly, on campus, once we start appreciating other person’s culture, we would be more respectful and accepting towards them and then the doors would be more open to share and learn from each other.”

For more information on the festival, please visit the SGPS Facebook page.

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