Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

The Magazine Of Queen's University

Search form

Extending the rafters

Extending the rafters

[photo of Kandice Baptiste]
University Communications

Four Directions Director Kandice  Baptiste in the renovated space at 146 Barrie St.

A key recommendation of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Task Force report became reality in October, as the recently renamed Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre opened its newly expanded doors.

In the spring, 146 Barrie – the original home of four Directions – and neighbouring 144 Barrie street were stripped down to the plaster. Contractors updated the insides of the two 19th-century homes.

“We are excited to welcome Indigenous students and the campus community to our new renovated space,” said Kandice Baptiste, the centre’s director. “We are thankful to our colleagues in the Division of students affairs and our campus partners for their support in bringing this project to life. The doubling of our centre demonstrates Queen’s commitment to our growing Indigenous student population. We trust that the centre will continue to serve as a safe place for indigenous students and the Queen’s community for many years to come.”

The ground floor of 144 Barrie includes an expanded kitchen and programming space. it has a longhouse aesthetic, paying tribute to Haudenosaunee peoples.

146 Barrie honours Anishinaabe peoples with a circular room for cultural and ceremonial events, along with a library and quiet study rooms for students.

“When we released the Queen’s TRC Task Force report, we pledged to do better in our efforts to support Indigenous students,” said Principal Woolf. “The opening of this expanded and revitalized space is an important step, and I am certain Queen’s will build on this momentum and continue to create a more welcoming environment for the indigenous community.”

The report, “Extending the Rafters,” called for more space for Indigenous students on campus. The project was funded by the Division of Student Affairs and also received support from the federal Enabling Accessibility Fund for upgrades that have made both buildings more accessible.

[illustration for 'the public health' issue of the Queen's Alumni Review]