Unique aboriginal studies program graduates first students
A special ceremony featuring traditional native drummers was held today at Queen’s University to honour the first four graduates of Canada’s only program for graduate studies in indigenous public administration and policy.
Four students – Deborah Brant, Francis Cadeau, Tracy Maracle and Russell Roundpoint – received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. The program started in 2007 and was developed by the Queen’s School of Policy Studies and the First Nations Technical Institute, located on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
“This is a historic day. On behalf of all members of the School of Policy Studies, I congratulate the graduating students on their great achievement. I thank the graduates’ families and their communities for the support they provided to the graduates during the academic program, and wish the graduates well in their ongoing careers,” says School of Policy Studies director Peter Harrison, who attended the event.
The program involves a series of courses that are unique in Canada and integrate traditional knowledge and philosophies in indigenous policy, governance, and management.
The development of policy leaders and senior administrators is essential to the capacity building and self-determination of First Nations, both for today and for future generations. It is hoped that graduates of the program will play key roles in First Nations organizational and community development.