Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Indigenization

Equity, diversity, and inclusion, including anti-racism, decolonization, and Indigenous resurgence, is the first a guiding principle in the Faculty of Arts and Science Strategic Plan. The Faculty of Arts and Science aspires to be a thriving, equitable and inclusive scholarly community committed to innovative disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and teaching. Our goal is to inspire curiosity and to collaboratively engage with multiple forms of knowledge that span local and global contexts.

Current Faculty EDII initiatives are focused on the implementation of the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) reports put forth by both the Federal Government and the Queen’s Task Forces, and the Queen’s Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity and Inclusion (PICRDI) report.

Information on resources and programs at Queen's can be found through the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and the Human Rights and Equity Office. Explore the sections below to learn more about the initiatives supported by the Faculty of Arts and Science.

The Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Task Force formed in April 2016 to begin the work of responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's final report on the history and legacy of Canada’s residential school system for Aboriginal children. Composed of Indigenous and non-Indigenous faculty, staff, students, senior administrators, and community members, the Task Force considered how to meaningfully respond to the TRC’s calls to action.

In addition, the Task Force explored how the university can play an active role in addressing the broader themes of the TRC report, including relationship-building, changing perspectives and policy, and promoting an awareness of the rights, histories, and contemporary issues of Indigenous Peoples. 

In March 2017, the Task Force released its final report and recommendations. In addition to the creation of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, the Task Force calls for, among other things:

  • The expansion of advancement strategies to increase philanthropic funding for Indigenous initiatives, as well as the development of partnerships to proactively advocate and engage with government for system-wide programs and policies that support Indigenous students.
  • Raising awareness of Indigenous-focused research occurring on campus and ensuring the necessary supports are in place to allow research in these fields to flourish.
  • Every program offered at Queen’s to include significant and meaningful Indigenous content, so that graduating students gain a basic understanding of Indigenous knowledge systems relevant to their discipline.

FAS TRC Implementation Report 2019-20

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In an effort to initiate a broad, meaningful, and sustained conversation on racism, diversity, and inclusion at Queen’s, and to ensure that tangible and lasting change is effected, Principal Daniel Woolf established a small group, comprised of faculty, students, and staff, to review past reports on these issues. The committee identified barriers to these recommendations, and the steps needed to remove them, so that real change can take place. The Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity and Inclusion began its work in early January, and published its final report in April of 2017. Learn more about the Committee and read its reports here.

FAS PICRDI Implementation Report 2020-21

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The pandemic has touched many Indigenous communities across the country and people need information to help them manage in this ever-changing environment. With the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, people have renewed hope but understandably also have questions on how a vaccine will impact them and their families.

To help you answer some of these questions NationTalk have prepared a toolkit that contains a variety of communication resources and information for you to share with your community. Each community is unique in the way it shares information with its members. This toolkit can serve as a guide to create messages tailored to your community.

We trust that you will find this communications toolkit useful and we thank you for being part of the collective effort to fight COVID-19. Together we can do this.

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Programs

Black Studies

The Faculty of Arts and Science will launch a Minor in Black Studies in 2022 through the Department of Gender Studies. Black Studies is an interdisciplinary field, emphasizing the political, creative and intellectual lives of global diasporic communities. With several seminars speaking directly to the field of Black Studies, as well as multiple courses that attend to studies of race, colonialism, resistance, and anti-racism, students will work with scholars and staff that are committed to thinking through questions of liberation and social change.

In addition to the Indigenous studies certificates and courses below, a number of departments offer courses and interdisciplinary programs related to EDII. See Programs & Degrees for more information.

Learn more.

Indigenous Studies

Pursue a Bachelor of Arts General Degree Plan in Indigenous Studies through the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cutlure, Faculty of Arts and Science. The Plan in Indigenous Studies is interdisciplinary, and can be completed either as a minor in combination with any major offered in the Faculty of Arts and Science or as a stand-alone general area of study in a three-year degree.  The Plan is designed to draw together a range of course offerings on Indigenous histories, cultures, experiences, languages, and ways of knowing from 14 departments within Arts and Science.  Students will develop a broad interdisciplinary knowledge base on Indigenous cultures, which is sought-after in careers in Education, Law, Business, Policy, Governance, Advocacy and Social Services.

This Plan will give both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students the opportunity to immerse themselves in Indigenous history and culture in order to ensure that future leaders and policymakers have a solid foundation in the histories of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples. Students will expand their knowledge and understanding of Indigenous cultures while developing professional skills, such as innovative Indigenous approaches to learning and research, which will help them to work with Aboriginal communities.

Certificate in Indigenous Languages and Cultures

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures now offers a Certificate in Indigenous Languages and Cultures.  The Certificate will comprise a total of 15.0 Units taken from existing and new Indigenous language and culture courses. To ensure appropriate consultation with Indigenous leaders and knowledge keepers, the Certificate has been developed in partnership with the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre and Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na Language and Cultural Centre (TTO) in Tyendinaga, Ontario. The development of this Certificate acknowledges Queen’s location on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, and works toward the revitalization of several endangered languages. Courses in the Certificate will provide students with a rudimentary knowledge of the languages embedded in culturally rich, experiential and, where possible, land-based learning that introduces students to the many traditions, philosophies and histories of Indigenous peoples.  This Certificate is scheduled to begin in Fall 2018.

Learn more about this certificate

Certificate in Mohawk Language and Culture

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures now offers a Certificate in Mohawk Language and Culture. To ensure appropriate consultation with Indigenous leaders and knowledge keepers, the Certificate has been developed in partnership with Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre and Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na Language and Cultural Centre (TTO) in Tyendinaga, Ontario. It will comprise a total of 15.0 Units taken from existing and new Mohawk language and culture courses. The Certificate has been adapted from two successful post-secondary initiatives that TTO has delivered in partnership with Brock and Trent Universities in the past.

Learn more about this certificate

 
Courses

Many departments in the Faculty of Arts and Science offer courses which allow students to learn about Indigenous cultures, languages, environments, and histories. 

Find individual department pages here

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Queen’s has several options available for students wishing to gain a thorough foundation in Indigenous cultures, and offers language courses in Mohawk and Inuktituk, as well as a degree plan in Indigenous studies.

Mohawk

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers two courses that explore Mohawk language and culture. These can be counted towards an Indigenous Studies minor, a World Language Studies minor, a Linguistics major or minor and can also be taken as electives that count toward other degree plans.  Students will learn basic Mohawk language principles while gaining an understanding of the rich Mohawk culture from Thanyehténhas (Nathan Brinklow) who is Turtle Clan from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

Inuktitut

Inuktitut has been offered at Queen’s since 2013, and is taught by Professor Noel McDermott, who lived and taught in Nunavut for 35 years. The course gives students a rudimentary knowledge of the language and, through an exploration of traditions, philosophies and histories, an understanding of the rich Inuit cultures. The course is offered once a year and fills up very quickly every time. Students can count it towards a World Language Studies minor, a minor in Indigenous Studies, a Linguistics Plan, or as an elective towards another degree plan.

Principal's Dream Courses

The Principal’s Dream Course program is sponsored through the Office of the Principal and administered through the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The purpose of this exciting course redesign program is to enhance existing undergraduate courses in a way that encourages undergraduate research and inquiry. Funds are awarded for the development of sustainable, semester-long courses that directly support both the overall academic mission of Queen’s University and the strategic goals related to the enhancement of the learning experience of its students. 

Proposed courses were required to address at least one of the identified themes:

  1. Sustainability
  2. Indigenous Identities
  3. Queen’s 175th Anniversary

This year, all three of the successful Principal’s Dream Course proposals came from the Faculty of Arts and Science, and all addressed the theme of Indigenous Identities. The three courses that were selected as Principal’s Dream Courses for implementation in the 2017/2018 school year were GPHY 3XX: Indigenous Perspectives on the Environment and Health, ENGL 218: Introduction to Indigenous Literatures and Cultures, and ASTR 101: The Solar System, which will be administered digitally through Arts and Science Online.

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The Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University is pleased to invite applications for three one-year Pre-Doctoral Fellowships for Indigenous Students.

The Fellowships are open to Indigenous students enrolled in a PhD program and working on doctoral research in the creative arts, humanities, social sciences or natural and physical sciences at an accredited university other than Queen’s University. Candidates must have completed all doctoral degree requirements except the final doctoral project (e.g. dissertation). They will be expected to compete their doctoral project during their tenure as a Fellow to receive their degree from their home institution.

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Building on their commitment to fostering scholarship on, and deepening understanding of, indigenous peoples, Dartmouth College, the University of Otago and the University of Western Australia are collaborating to offer an Indigenous Student Mobility Programme to students across the Matariki Network.  All three institutions have experience in Indigenous issues, have Indigenous student populations and are able to offer participants in the programme an immersion experience through links with local Indigenous communities.  Each year, a group of Queen's students participates in the two-week academic programme.  Participants learn about issues of great significance to local host and partner university indigenous communities, and gain an understanding of how those issues may be addressed in their respective home countries.  The first two editions of the programme were held at Otago (2016) and at UWA (2017), with the 2018 programme scheduled to take place at Dartmouth.

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The Faculty of Arts and Science is proud to announce the Indigenous Studies Interactive Expendable Fund.  By contributing to this initiative, you will be supporting the promotion of Indigenous and Aboriginal learning activities through special lectures and speakers’ series, as well as teaching, student and club programs.  To learn more, contact John Kraemer, Development officer, by email or (800) 267-7837 ext. 77826.

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The Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre

The Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre (FDASC), or 4D, strives to be a home away from home, a hub of activity, and a key resource for Queen's Indigenous students. Located in a historic home on campus, 4D offers many amenities, such as a lounge with free wifi and cable TV, a fully equipped kitchen, and a free laundry service!  The Centre offers academic tutoring and advising, cultural programming, an Indigenous focused library, and a range of workshops designed to support students academically, socially, and culturally.  4D has been around since 1996, and at its current location since 2000. 

In keeping with the teachings of the Four Directions, 4D supports Indigenous students in balancing their academic, spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. The Centre welcomes and encourages all students to develop an awareness and appreciation of the Indigenous experience in Canada. 4D employs Aboriginal advisors, elders, and an Aboriginal admissions representative.

The Yellow House

The Yellow House is a safe space for marginalized students to be. A space where QTBIPOC students can connect with one another to benefit from the power of community to support, to uplift and stand together. A space to get connected to university resources, with a focus on connecting QTBIPOC students with QTBIPOC service providers. A space where queer and racialized students feel comfortable to access university resources as a community or as individuals that are tailored to their needs. Yellow House student clubs and all marginalized students engaging in student-centered anti-oppression work have a valued role within the university. Students have formalized opportunities to share their ideas and perspectives, shaping university policy in meaningful ways to encourage an inclusive campus culture. Students are appropriately recognized for their work.

ASUS Reflection Room

The ASUS Reflection Room (Kingston Hall 213) was gifted to the Arts & Science Undergraduate Society by Queen’s Alumni. In 2016, the room underwent a revitalization project and was renamed the Reflection Room, to acknowledge the historical and continuing impacts of colonization in Canada and its implications on the Indigenous staff, students, and community at Queen’s.

The Reflection Room is the perfect location for studying, meetings, events, and socials on campus.  Fully equipped with furniture, a fireplace, and a complete AV system, it can be booked by any group on campus and can host up to 60 people.

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