Indigenous Students

Queen's University sits on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples.

Alternative Admission for Indigenous Students

Aboriginal Student Blanket Ceremony at Convocation at Queen's University

The Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University offers Aboriginal candidates an alternative procedure for admission to the first year of a full-time degree program. Qualified Aboriginal students whose home community is in North America may be admitted to the Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Bachelor of Science (Honours), Concurrent Education Bachelor of Arts (Honours), and Concurrent Education Bachelor of Science (Honours) Programs by this alternative procedure.

Aboriginal candidates may also choose to apply through the regular admission process.

Alternative Admission for Indigenous Students

Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre

The Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, or 4D as it is affectionately called, 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 , they offer many amenities such as a lounge with free wifi and cable TV, snacks or a meals in a fully equipped kitchen, and laundry service for free! They offer academic tutoring and advising, cultural programming, Indigenous focused library, and a range of workshops designed to support you, academically, socially and culturally.

4D has been around since 1996 when they opened with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training under its Aboriginal Education and Training Strategy. The Centre has been at its current location since 2000. 

Learn more about Four Directions at Queen's University.

Indigenous Awards and Scholarships

Queen's believes that all students who are offered admission should have the opportunity to attend and remain at Queen's, regardless of their personal financial circumstances. We are committed to equality of opportunity and therefore we assist students entering the first year of any first-entry undergraduate program of study whose families are lacking sufficient financial resources.

Check out the list of Indigenous Awards and Scholarships.

Indigenous Studies

A degree in Indigenous Studies is an interdisciplinary degree, designed to draw together a range of course offerings on Indigenous history, culture, experience, language and ways of knowing. The aim of the Plan is to attract and retain Aboriginal students. It will also ensure that future leaders and policy makers have a solid foundation in the histories and cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit People.

The core courses of the Plan in Indigenous Studies are to provide students with core knowledge of the histories and cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada and globally. The core courses will introduce students to Indigenous worldviews, histories, geographies, politics, education, spirituality and art, as well concepts of colonization, decolonization and Indigenous-settler relations. See the full list of courses >

Students can take a variety of pathways through the Plan, depending on what else they are studying, where their interest lie and where they already have the prerequisites for higher level study.  For example, a student who has already been introduced to major concepts in Indigenous Studies and has already taken courses in art and literature in other departments, would have the skills necessary to take a fourth- year English course in Indigenous Literatures.

Here are several examples of Plan pathways >

Queen's University offrers indigenous-focused Programs:

ProgramDescription
Aboriginal Access to Engineering Program

The Aboriginal Access to Engineering Program takes a multi-faceted approach to increasing the participation of the Aboriginal community in engineering programs through specific educational programs and an interactive website, as well as outreach activities and materials created specifically for Aboriginal students by members of the Aboriginal, educational, engineering and business communities.

Aboriginal Teacher’s Education ProgramThe Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) of Queen's University Faculty of Education offers several unique program tracks, which provide an opportunity for candidates to specialize in Aboriginal education. These program tracks are particularly suited to Aboriginal candidates
Master of Education in Aboriginal and World Indigenous Educational Studies AWIES is a part-time blended (on-line and on-campus) program intended for students with experience in Aboriginal communities.
Professional Master of Public Administration In partnership with FNTI (First Nations Technical Institute), Queen’s School of Policy Studies now offers participants in the part-time Professional Master of Public Administration the opportunity to concentrate their elective courses in Indigenous Policy and Governance. This series of courses, unique in Canada, integrate traditional knowledge and philosophies in indigenous policy, governance, management and related areas with contemporary theoretical frameworks and best practice

Degrees, Certificates and Notable Courses

Programs

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

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.

Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Program

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.

Community Outreach - Indigenous Studies Interactive Expendable Fund

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

Cultural Spaces

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.