Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

The Magazine Of Queen's University

Search form

Campus and community: Supporting Indigenous academics and Indigenous research

Campus and community: Supporting Indigenous academics and Indigenous research

[photo of Alex Veinot in a chemistry lab.]
Queen's University Communications

Alex Veinot is a PhD candidate in chemistry and a member of the Glooscap First Nation in Nova Scotia.

One in four Canadians holds a bachelor’s or advanced degree, according to Statistics Canada. Yet for Indigenous people in Canada, the number is just one in ten – making it more of a challenge for Indigenous learners wishing to obtain a graduate education.

The School of Graduate Studies has earmarked additional funding and introduced a new admissions policy for Indigenous applicants for master’s and doctoral programs, in keeping with the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission task force’s report.

“These actions are a step toward increasing access to graduate studies,” said Brenda Brouwer, Vice-Provost and Dean (Graduate Studies) in June. “They align with increasing inclusivity in our graduate community and promoting opportunities for research and scholarship that actively engage indigenous communities.” The new Indigenous student admission policy applies to all graduate programs in the School of Graduate Studies. The evaluation of applications from Indigenous candidates will consider academic, cultural, personal, and professional background, along with other factors indicative of capacity for graduate study.

To be considered under this regulation, applicants must self-identify as Indigenous (defined as First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Peoples) upon application for admission.“Financial supports such as the Robert Sutherland Fellowship, which I received in my first year of doctoral studies, and other awards with allocations designated for Indigenous students are invaluable for promoting the advancement and development of Aboriginal communities throughout Canada,” says Alex Veinot, a PhD  candidate in chemistry. “While Queen’s has made significant improvements in supporting its Indigenous students both culturally and financially, there are still issues that need further attention in order to greatly improve the experience of Indigenous students at Queen’s."

The School of Graduate Studies has also set aside funding resources to support graduate students conducting research that requires travel to Indigenous communities. Master’s and doctoral students engaged in Indigenous-related research can apply for a Graduate Dean’s Travel Grant for Indigenous Field Research to help offset the costs.

For more information on support for Indigenous graduate students at Queen’s, visit queensu.ca/sgs/aboriginal-students.

[cover graphic of Queen's Alumni Review, issue 3-2018]