Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

DEPARTMENT OF

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

DEPARTMENT OF

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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Lauren Ball

Lauren Ball is a third year student majoring in Global Development Studies and minoring in Indigenous Studies. She is the recipient of the Queen's University Excellence Scholarship and the Dean's Special Award. Lauren is also on Dean's Honour List with Distinction for the second year in row. Indigenous Studies, being relatively new Plan at Queen's, is a perfect solution for Lauren:

"Coming to Queen’s, I was not planning on minoring in Indigenous Studies but Indigenous and Aboriginal Peoples have always interested me.  During my first year, I discovered and took a few introductory courses in Indigenous studies and my interest transformed into a passion.  Indigenous Studies challenges you in the best way; it allows you to view the world from a an alternate perspective.  As a Global Development student, I’ve been taught about different cultures and I’ve been told that the Western culture that I’ve been brought up in is only one of a number of ways to view and know the world.  This is an easily understandable concept, but the courses I’ve taken in Indigenous Studies have allowed me to experience it. 

Indigenous Studies has given me the honour of learning from professors with alternate perspectives.  Much of my Indigenous Studies and Global Development courses overlap due to the major issues present in the world today.  Many Indigenous peoples are at the brunt end of some of the largest environmental and social issues, and many theorists believe that Indigenous knowledge may provide solutions to many of these issues.  I believe society is at a turning point where we are just beginning to acknowledge and value the immense knowledge held by the world’s Indigenous populations and I am excited not only to learn from them but to learn how to become a true ally to Indigenous peoples as well. 

Many of the courses I’ve taken in Indigenous Studies have been some of my favorite classes.  The class sizes are often a bit smaller and all my professors have been phenomenal.  To have professors who not only teach you in the classroom but change your perspective in everyday life is what I think education should really be about; the learning becomes experiential.  I have also learned just as much outside of the classroom.  During my second year I discovered Queens’ Four Directions Aboriginal Center and it became my support.  This community is amazing and I am repeatedly honoured by the love, knowledge, and kindness they share.

Through these interactions and the knowledge I have gained both in and outside of classes, I have grown as an individual in the best ways possible.  In order to change the world, we must first change ourselves. To quote Gandhi: 'If you change yourself you will change your world. If you change how you think then you will change how you feel and what actions you take. And so the world around you will change. Not only because you are now viewing your environment through new lenses of thoughts and emotions but also because the change within can allow you to take action in ways you wouldn’t have – or maybe even have thought about – while stuck in your old thought patterns.' "