Indigenous Initiatives

The Faculty of Arts and Science sits on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. We are grateful to be able to work, study, learn, and teach on these lands. Our land acknowledgement is extended in the many more personalized and detailed acknowledgements given by the people in our Faculty on a daily basis in both formal and informal settings, on our lands and beyond.

The Faculty of Arts and Science is committed to Indigenous education and to supporting culturally relevant learning opportunities and initiatives for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.  We are proud of our continuing dedication to encouraging life-long learning and reconciliation efforts, and of the many academic and personal successes of our Indigenous students, faculty, staff and alumni.  Current Faculty 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 Force.

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

August 2020

The Faculty of Arts and Science PICRDI (Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity and Inclusion) and TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) Implementation Reports 2019-20 demonstrate that, while EDII initiatives were created and continued from the previous year, the Faculty has taken significant steps to create a climate of inclusion and to increase the number of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity (EDII) related initiatives across all academic units since the 2018-19 reports were submitted.

Read the reports here.

July 2020

On behalf of the Queen's Faculty of Arts and Science, the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity (EDII) Implementation Committee stand in solidarity with Indigenous students, staff, and faculty. The defacement of these flags at the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre is an expression of hate and we unequivocally refute these deplorable actions. We draw your attention to the OHRC's definition of a hate crime.  

These flags represent the communities of many Indigenous students, staff, and faculty at Queen's and showed solidarity with LGBTQ2S+ communities. The flags were erected in response to a racist and homophobic incident that took place at the Queen's Chown Hall residence in October 2019.

We denounce this expression of hate and will continue our work to identify and dismantle systemic racism and oppression at Queen's University by applying an anti-racist and anti-oppression lens to our collective work. We are deeply committed to ensuring Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre remains a safe space for Indigenous students, staff, and faculty.  

We reaffirm our goal to assist in the development of policies, actions, and programs that create an inclusive space for all members of the FAS community, Queen’s University, and beyond. 

Please contact if you have questions or for more information. 

June 2020

The murder of George Floyd (Minneapolis), and the deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet (Toronto) and Breonna Taylor (Louisville), and the protest and violent unrest that has erupted over the past week, highlights the significance of the work of the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity Implementation (EDII) Committee and the importance of engaging all members of our Faculty in responding to the continuing issues faced by our community members.

The FAS EDII Committee stands in support of Black staff, students, and faculty, and community at large. We strongly condemn anti-Black violence and systematic racism against the Black community. We reaffirm our commitment to anti-racism around the world and at home here at Queen's University. This anti-racist work is crucial at this pivotal moment in time.

Please see our Committee's recent statement of solidarity and support to the members of our Queen's community who have had their inequities amplified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and participate in our ThoughtExchange to suggest strategic areas of action that we can take to support and improve EDII in our Faculty at Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity (EDII) Implementation Committee Statement .

November 2019

The Faculty of Arts and Science has established its Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, & Indigeneity (EDII) Implementation Committee.

Learn More

July 2019

The Faculty of Arts and Science has announced the recipients of this years Pre-Doctoral Fellowships for Indigenous Students.

This opportunity, started in 2018, is designed to recognize outstanding scholarship among Canadian Indigenous PhD candidates. The initiative provides each fellow with an annual stipend of $34,000 and up to $3,000 for research and conference travel. In addition, each fellow will be appointed and compensated separately as a Term Adjunct to teach a half-course (three unit) university course.

During their year at Queen’s, these five scholars will each teach a course within the Faculty of Arts and Science, engage with local Indigenous peoples and communities, broaden their networks, and complete their doctoral work to receive their degree from their home institution.

The 2019-20 Pre-Doctoral Fellows are:

Lesley Belleau
PhD Candidate, Indigenous Studies, Trent University

Zachary Smith
PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of Toronto

Learn More


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.




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.


Indigenous Studies

Pursue a Bachelor of Arts General Degree Plan in Indigenous Studies through the 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


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.


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 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.


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.

Learn More


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.


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.

Give to Queen's


Vernon Altiman

As a Lecturer in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Vernon Altiman teaches foundational courses in Anishinaabeowin.  Originating from Bkejwanong Territory, Vernon has studied Anishinaabemowin for over 25 years with traditional elders in his Anishinaabeg community, and, in addition to teaching at Queen’s, has also been an instructor at Georgian College and in various other community capacities.

Karine Bertrand

Assistant Professor and Métis scholar Dr. Karine Bertrand researches the areas of film studies, communications and indigenous studies, and teaches courses in Critical Inquiry, Transnational Cinema and Culture and Representation within the Department of Film and Media. She completed her PhD in 2013, her thesis focusing on First Nations and Inuit cinemas in Quebec and Nunavut.

Professor Bertrand has received numerous grants and awards from the SSHRC and the FRQSC and is the recipient of the 2017 Research Leader’s Fund award. She is currently working on Indigenous women’s cinema in the Americas, putting together an online database with Indigenous women filmmakers’ works. Her more recent publications include an article on Arnait Video Productions (Revue canadienne de littérature comparée, 2017) as well as book chapters on Arctic cinema and Indigenous representations.

Nathan Brinklow (Thanyehténhas)

Nathan Brinklow (Thanyehténhas) is Turtle Clan from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. He grew up without the language in a community that had largely lost its heritage language as an everyday spoken dialect, and gained an interest in the language through the “Mohawk Hymns” he sang with his grandmother as a young man.  Following his formal studies, Nathan went on to study at Shatiwennakará:tats, the intensive adult language program at Tyendinaga.  He now teaches in that program.Nathan teaches Mohawk in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.  His professional interests include second language acquisition methodologies (especially for adults), the canon of Mohawk Hymns (with attention to the unique compositions), early Bible translations and the translattion of Christian concepts and the development of the traditional Mohawk cycle of ceremonies.

Heather Castleden

Dr. Castleden is the Canada Research Chair in Reconciling Relations for Health, Environments, and Communities and is a jointly-appointed Associate Professor in the Departments of Geography and Planning and Public Health Sciences.

As a broadly trained health geographer, Dr. Castleden mainly undertakes community-based participatory research in partnership with Indigenous peoples in Canada on issues that are important to them and fall within her programmatic areas of expertise: the nexus of culture, place, and power, and health equity through social and environmental justice lenses. Since 2009, she has been the Director of the Health, Environment, and Communities Research Lab, a vibrant community of research associates, trainees, and staff.

Michael Doxtator (T’hohahoken)

A member of the Haudenosaunee Nation, and fluent in Kanyen'keha (Mohawk), Dr. Doxtater has both a deeply-rooted understanding of traditional oral knowledge and a clearly articulated vision for the future of lndigenous Studies at Queen's. He possesses extensive professional and scholarly experience in addition to his status as a healer and mediator within his own communities. Dr. Doxtater is a leading expert on organizational learning and organizational development, is a Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Studies, and is an Assistant Professor jointly appointed to the Departments of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and Global Development Studies. As a professional in dispute and conflict resolution, Dr. Doxtaror intervened during the Kanonstaten Reclamation Occupation (Caledonia, ON), the Red Hill Valley expressway occupation (Hamilton, ON), the Eagles Nest standoff (Brantford, ON), the Tutelo Heights forestry dispute (Brantford, ON), and Six Nations Against Pollution on-reserve.  Dr. Doxtator has also worked at the national level as a senior communication specialist for the Government of Canada, and has led teams that produced award-winning documentaries for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), TVOntario, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Petra Fachinger

Dr. Petra Fachinger, Professor in the Department of English and Supervisor in the Cultural Studies Program, frequently teaches courses with a focus on Indigenous Literatures such as “Environment in Contemporary Canadian and Aboriginal Literature” and “Contemporary North American Indigenous Literatures”, which examine works while paying close attention to territorial, tribal, national and cultural diversities and considering pan-Indigenous approaches where appropriate. Dr. Fachinger’s primary research interests include diaspora, transnationalism, Indigenous and Canadian literatures, ecocriticism and ecofeminism, and she has authored articles which explore the ethical challenges of the residential school system as well as the intersections of diaspora and Indigenuity.

Anne Godlewska

As a Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, Dr. Godlewska focuses on the native populations of the North America and their ongoing struggle with colonial characterizations and interests.  Her current research examines the exclusion and inclusion of Aboriginal peoples, issues and concerns in curriculum and school texts and instructional practice in secondary school education in contemporary Ontario and Quebec.  Dr. Godlewska, along with Jackie Moore, from the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program, submitted an article on various aspects of Ontario curriculum that explores coverage of Aboriginal existence and issues and argues that there is significant potential for a link between geography and Aboriginal education, given the importance of land, sustainability, culture and the environment in Aboriginal thought.  She also serves as the Principal Investigator for “Assessing Awareness of Indigenous Peoples in Canada”.

Lynda Jessup

Dr. Jessup is a Professor in the Cultural Studies Program and inthe Department of Art History and Art Conservation. Her research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Canadian and Native North American social and cultural history. Within this general framework, she emphasizes the representation and circulation of Canadian and Native North American visual and material culture in exhibitions and in museum collections, an interest that has taken shape more recently in research on the use of exhibitions in cultural diplomacy.

Lucie Levesque

Dr. Lévesque’s research program, which has been mainly funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for the past 15 years, focuses on investigating physical activity and health promotion interventions, programs, practices, and policies in partnership with Indigenous peoples in Canada. A Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Dr. Lévesque’s work is founded on community engagement for the production and dissemination of action-oriented knowledge. Her research encompassing both Indigenous and mainstream/Western science approaches has informed the ways in which respectful and relevant research is conducted with Indigenous communities in Canada (e.g., KSDPP Code of Research Ethics; Canada’s Tri Council Policy Statement 2: Module 9 - Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada).

Robert Lovelace

Robert Lovelace began at Queen’s as an Aboriginal Student Counsellor in 1994, providing personal and academic support to Aboriginal students, and was a founding member of the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre.  He has been teaching Aboriginal Studies courses at the university since 1995 and has developed courses for the Departments of Geography and Global Development Studies, and for Arts & Science Online.  Professor Lovelace continues to be a Continuing Adjunct Professor in the Department of Global Development Studies, and regularly teaches introductory courses in Aboriginal Studies.

Heather MacFarlane

Dr. Heather Macfarlane is an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of English, and regularly teaches courses in Canadian and Indigenous Literatures.  Her research interests include Canadian comparative literature, theatre, literary activism and space- and place-based criticism. 

Dr. Mcfarlane is the recipient of one of the 2017 funding packages for the development of a Principal’s Dream Course: ‘Introduction to Indigenous Literature in Canada’.  The course will demonstrate the capacity of literature to confront expectations about Indigenous cultures and experience and will examine Indigenous novels, traditional stories, poetry, short stories and plays from various time periods, written by Métis, Inuit and First Nations authors. Class visits by renowned Indigenous authors and thinkers will open avenues for meaningful engagement, and demonstrate the importance of literature and aesthetics to educate and mobilize.

Jeffrey Masuda

Dr. Masuda is a human geographer trained in the sub-discipline of health geography as well as the interdisciplinary fields of health promotion and population health.  A professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, his scholarly contributions include insights into arts-based methodologies, neighbourhood level health inequities, environmental governance; knowledge translation, systematic review, and social theory in geography.

Dr. Masuda's published contributions include studies of environmental health promotion, citizen engagement in regional environmental governance, risk communication, rural geography, knowledge translation in chronic disease prevention, and urban human rights and environmental injustice. His current projects focus on equity focused knowledge translation, human rights and place, and Indigenous leadership in renewable energy and autonomy. Dr. Masuda collaborates on projects and initiatives with scholars, policymakers, and community advocates across Canada and internationally.

Noel McDermott

Professor McDermott has extensive experience in teaching Inuktitut and English. He lived and taught in Nunavut for 35 years as a classroom teacher, school principal and lecturer in the teacher training program at Nunavut Arctic College. He joined the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the fall of 2011. His Inuktitut course covers the history and culture of the Inuit with particular emphasis on the Inuktitut language. 

Dr. McDermott has authored many works on Inuit literature and cultural identity.  His research interests include Inuit literature and language, mythology, culture and history, colonialism and post-colonialism (particularly how Inuit have been affected by explorer and settler contact and the ways in which they have resisted), education for adults (especially with regard to the history of contact between Canada's First Nations and Inuit), the making and shaping of personal, regional and national identities and particularly the work of Franz Fanon.

Sam McKegney

Dr. McKegney is a settler scholar of Indigenous literary art, and is an Associate Professor in the Department of English. His research seeks to register the ways in which Indigenous literary artists interrogate ongoing settler colonialism and the violent history upon which it is based, use artistic means of expression to imagine modes of sociality and Indigenous persistence that exceed the confines of the settler colonial nation state, and mobilize the expressive arts to provoke extra-textual responses from Indigenous, settler, and diasporic readers that might contribute to projects of decolonization. He has published on such topics as residential school survival narratives, environmental kinship, masculinity theory, prison writing, Indigenous governance, discourses of reconciliation, and Canadian hockey mythologies. Professor McKegney is a founding member of, and has served as President for, the Indigenous Literary Studies Association—a scholarly group dedicated to honouring the history and promoting the ongoing production of Indigenous literatures in lands claimed by Canada, and to advancing the ethical study and teaching of those literatures.

Laura Murray

Dr. Laura Murray’s research interests include community-based and oral history, issues of Indigenous experience and presence and North American history as a nationalist, colonialist project.  Dr. Murray is a Professor in the Department of English and is cross-appointed to the Cultural Studies Graduate Program.

Dr. Murray is currently teaching the course ‘Language, Culture and Politics: Words in Place: Settler and Indigenous Stories of Kingston/Cataraqui’, a 2016 Principal’s Dream Course, in which students explore their own relation to the colonial history of Kingston, and by extension, Canada, through the use of archival materials, community conversations and a mix of memoir, poetry and artwork.

Dylan Robinson

Professor Robinson is a Stó:lō scholar who holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts. From 2010-2013, he led the SSHRC-funded “Aesthetics of Reconciliation” project with Dr. Keavy Martin that examined the role that the arts and Indigenous cultural practices played in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the Indian Residential Schools. This research led to a second collaborative project, “Creative Conciliation”, supported by a SSHRC Insight grant, to explore new artistic models that move beyond what many Indigenous scholars have identified as reconciliation’s political limitations.

Dr. Robinson’s current research project documents the history of contemporary Indigenous public art across North America, and questions how Indigenous rights and settler colonialism are embodied and spatialized in public space. Funded by the Canada Research Chair program, this project involves working with Indigenous artists and scholars to collaboratively imagine new forms of public engagement and create new public works that speak to Indigenous experience. Dr. Robinson is also an avid Halq'eméylem language learner. Yú:wqwlha kws t'í:lemtel te sqwá:ltset!

Armand Ruffo

Queen’s National Scholar Armand Ruffo is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and cross-appointed with the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. His scholarly and creative work—strongly influenced by his Anishinaabe (Ojibway) heritage—sheds light on contemporary Native issues such as the environment, spirituality, education and self-determination.

Professor Ruffo is the author of the biography Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing into Thunderbird (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014) and three books of poetry: Opening In The Sky (Theytus Books, 1994), Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney (Coteau Books, 1997) and At Geronimo’s Grave (Coteau Books, 2001). In addition to writing an award-winning film, A Windigo Tale (2010), he has also edited and co-edited (Ad)Dressing Our Words: Aboriginal Perspectives on Aboriginal Literatures (Theytus Books, 2001) and An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Jill Scott

Though currently serving as the Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning), Dr. Jill Scott is a Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, cross-appointed with the Department of Gender Studies, and affiliated with the Cultural Studies Program. Dr. Scott’s research interests include Indigenous storyteling and the law, Indigenous cultural revitalization, restorative and transitional justice and forgiveness and reocnciliation. 

She is the co-Principal Investigator for the HEQCO Learning Outcomes Assessment study at Queen’s, and her current research projects include: “MicroWriting: TwitterTeaching for Clear, Concise and Convincing Communication” and “Kaswentha: Haudenosaunee Peacebuilding Practices and the Future of Indigenous-Settler Relations in Canada.”

Gordon Smith

In addition to serving as the Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science, Dr. Smith is a professor of musicology and ethnomusicology in the Dan School of Drama and Music. His current research examines music as social and religious practice in Mi’kmaw Communities in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Specifically, he is doing field research on funeral practices in the Mi’kmaw community of Eskasoni, and recently completed a book chapter based on that research. He has worked with Mi’kmaw elders and musicians of all ages, and his work is also focused on musical practices in Mi’kmaw families, and the impact of the internet on the rejuvenation of Indigenous identities.

Isabelle St. Amand

Dr. St. Amand is a Queen’s National Scholar and Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures whose research focuses on Indigenous literary theories in Québec and Canada, collaborative research and Indigenous filmmaking in the Americas, and theories of events and Indigenous-settler relationships. In 2014 and 2015, Dr. St. Amand led a SSHRC-funded project to organize and reflect on “Revisioning the Americas through Indigenous Cinema”, the 5th of an ongoing series of international trilingual conferences held in Montreal and Kahnawake as part of the First People’s Film Festival

Professor St-Amand has published with leading scholars in migrant literatures and Indigenous literatures. She recently co-edited a special journal issue examining environmental ethics and activism in Indigenous literature and film. Her book Stories of Oka: From Politics to Fiction is forthcoming from University of Manitoba Press in Spring 2018. It analyzes this political crisis during the standoff, in documentary films and in literary narratives, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, in Canada and Québec.

Carla Taunton

Dr. Carla Taunton is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Cultural Studies Program, an Alliance Member of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and an independent curator.  In 2012, her Ph.D thesis “Performing Resistance/Negotiating Sovereignty: Indigenous Women’s Performance Art in Canada,” completed at Queen’s University, received the Governor General’s Gold Medal.

Carla's areas of expertise include Indigenous arts and methodologies, contemporary Canadian art, museum and curatorial studies, decolonization, anti-colonialism and settler responsibility. Drawing on collaborative research models, her current research focuses on Indigenous arts-based approaches towards the socio-political projects of decolonization, indigenization and social-justice. Through this work she investigates current approaches towards the writing of indigenous specific art histories, recent indigenous and settler research/arts collaborations, and strategies of creative-based interventions that challenge colonial narratives, national(ist) institutions and settler imagination. 

Nancy van Deusen

Dr. Nancy E. van Deusen is a Professor in the Department of History whose research focuses on Colonial Latin America, and the Iberian Atlantic World. Dr. van Deusen is a historian of colonial Andean, Latin American, and early modern Atlantic World history. She specializes in the histories of slavery in the Iberian world, as well as gender relations and female Catholic spirituality in colonial Peru.

A recent book, Global Indios: The Indigenous Struggle for Justice in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Duke University Press, 2015), examines slaves labeled as indios who pressed for their freedom in Spanish courts in the sixteenth century. By expanding the significations of the category indio/a, the book asks readers to think globally about a construct that has informed the foundations of colonial Latin American scholarship.

Leela Viswanathan

Dr. Viswanathan is a Registered Professional Planner in Ontario, an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning and is cross-appointed to the School of Environmental Studies and to the Department of Gender Studies.  

Dr. Viswanathan’s research examines how public policies, planning processes, and people shape built, ecological, scial, economic and cultural environments. Her ongoing research interests involve theories and practices of planning with First Nations, planning pedagogy and service-learning, and race, space, and cross-cultural relations.

Norman Vorano

From 2005 to 2014, Dr. Norman Vorano was the Curator of Contemporary Inuit Art at the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization).  He is a former board member of the Native American Art Studies Association (NAASA), has served on the editorial board of the Inuit Art Quarterly, and is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.  He is a Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Art and Visual Culture, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History and is the Curator of Indigenous Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. In 2017, Dr. Vorano was named as one of five recipients of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellowship for his efforts in creating the Arctic Cultural heritage Research Network.

Dr. Vorano's research and teaching intersts are in the areas of historic and contemporary Indigenous arts of North America as well as in curatorial/museum studies.  He is particularly interested in Indigenous arts in “contact zones”, be it through the modern forces of globalization, the historical patterns of contact during colonialism, or the ancient movements of visual culture through the dynamics of trade, travel and migration.

Graham Whitelaw

Associate Professor and Queen’s National Scholar Dr. Graham Whitelaw is jointly appointed to the Departments of Environmental Studies and Geography and Planning.  He has over 20 years of experience in the land use and environmental policy fields, extensive consulting experience providing services to government and the NGO sector and is an accomplished facilitator bringing innovation to the policy development process through public engagement processes. Dr. Whitelaw is currently a volunteer Director with the Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition and works with the Oak Ridges Institute for Sustainability.

Dr. Whitelaw's research interests are focused on environmental assessment, land use planning and community-based and multi-party monitoring. He is currently working with the Mushkegowuk Cree of the Western James Bay, the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment, and a group of stakeholders across the Oak Ridges Moraine, north of the City of Toronto on the Niagara Escarpment.


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.

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.



The Faculty of Arts and Science is proud to offer Indigenous students an alternative pathway to admission to the first year of a full-time undergraduate degree program.  Offers of admission will be made to Indigenous candidates whose total application shows strong evidence of academic preparedness and potential.  Candidates seeking admission consideration under this policy should submit a separate letter to the Indigenous community liaison stating that they wish to be considered under this policy and provide evidence of Aboriginal ancestry. For more information, contact Lisa Doxator.


Queen's believes that all students who are offered admission should have the opportunity to attend and remain at the university, regardless of their personal financial circumstances. The Faculty of Arts and Science is committed to equality of opportunity, and assists students entering the first year of any first-entry undergraduate program of study whose families are lacking sufficient financial resources.  Queen’s offers more than 20 scholarships that are directed specifically to Aboriginal, Inuit, and Metis students at Queen’s, many of which are exclusively for Arts and Science students.

The Queen’s Native Student Association

The Queen’s Native Student Association (QNSA) is a university club compromised of a diverse group of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students who share an interest in Aboriginal cultures and traditions. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are all represented in the QNSA.

The QNSA functions as a forum for students to discuss contemporary and historic issues pertaining to Aboriginal peoples and cultures, and works in collaboration with the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre (FDASC) and the Queen’s Aboriginal Council to identify and support the needs of Aboriginal students on campus. 

The Aboriginal Council of Queen’s University

The Aboriginal Council of Queen's University (ACQU) was established in 1992, in conjunction with the Aboriginal Education and Training Strategy introduced by the Ministry of Education and Training. The Aboriginal Council of Queen’s University is involved in all decisions affecting Aboriginal programs and services at Queen’s University. The Council is composed of representatives from Aboriginal communities in Ontario, the Queen’s Aboriginal student body, and senior University personnel, and reports directly to the University Senate and Board of Trustees.  Their mandate is to “ensure that for generations hereafter, Aboriginal peoples will have access to higher education at Queen's University, and that the institution will be responsive to the broader needs of Aboriginal peoples.”