Meet Jenna Kring – Academic Advisor for Indigenous Students

After spending one year with Four Directions as the Indigenous Programs and Events Associate, Jenna Kring has joined the Faculty of Arts and Science as the Academic Advisor for Indigenous Students. While easing into their new role with FAS, Kring is also wrapping up a few unfinished projects at 4D in their position as the Indigenous Events and Programs Associate.

Kring’s main focus after joining FAS is supporting Indigenous students in a variety of areas.

“I’ve always wanted to work with Indigenous students at the university level so working at Four Directions gave me a taste of what that might be like,” says Kring, who was covering a maternity leave. “This position in FAS opened up and I applied. This is my dream job.”

Kring, who was born and raised on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, spent some time at Queen’s as a student and says that is where they fell in love with the school and Kingston. They completed their Masters in Indigenous Studies at Trent and has a degree in Social Service Work completed at Loyalist College in Belleville before coming to Queen’s.

Still new in their role, Kring says one of their first goals is to set up a working group designed to support Indigenous students and the various ceremonies they will partake in over the academic year.

“I want to work with faculty and explain these ceremonies are important to the students and they need time to take part in them. I also want the students to understand they need to address the academic work that needs to be completed. I will also reach out to the Chaplain’s office to better understand how they address religious observances throughout the year. This is something that has been missing and I need to show the university this is important.”

Kring also realizes they need to reach out to other parts of the university to help improve the experience of Indigenous students. They will work closely with Elliot Chapple, Director, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigenization (EDII), Four Directions, and Yellow House.

Using these resources, Kring says they will create a welcoming environment for Indigenous students and says their door will always be open.

“My goal is creating a welcoming environment for Indigenous students so they are not ‘oh my gosh I'm walking up to this big stone building and there will be no one there that looks like me’,” Kring, who identifies as Two Spirit, says. “I can be that representation; I can be a source of comfort. I want them to feel included in the university culture.”