Newest student residence honours local Indigenous lands, communities, and histories

Indigenous initiatives

Newest student residence honours local Indigenous lands, communities, and histories

The Albert Street building’s new name translates to “home” in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway) and Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk).

By Dave Rideout

March 7, 2023


Albert Street Residence

Queen's has announced that the recently opened Albert Street student residence will be named Endaayaan–Tkanónsote in recognition of the region’s Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Indigenous communities, on whose traditional territory lands the university resides.

Pronounced end-ah-yawn – t-gaw-noon-so-day, the new name means “home” in both Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway) and Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk).

“The selection of Endaayaan–Tkanónsote marks a great milestone for our university community, as it is the first Indigenous-named building at Queen’s,” says Thanyehténhas (Nathan Brinklow), Director, Indigenous Studies Program, who chaired a working group that guided the naming proposal development process. “This name acknowledges the history of this area and seeks to further strengthen the relationships between the institution and the region’s Indigenous communities. It also means home—a wonderful reflection of the role this building is already serving in the lives of first-year Queen’s students at a unique time.”

The name was developed over several months of consultation with Indigenous students, faculty, staff networks, and language specialists, and was recently approved by the university’s Board of Trustees.

“This naming reflects our collective commitment to advancing decolonization and reconciliation, and specifically, a more inclusive approach to naming residences,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “As we work toward building a more inclusive community, it is important that our buildings and spaces reflect the diverse cultures and histories of our students, staff and faculty.”

The Endaayaan–Tkanónsote residence includes physical spaces that seek to advance reconciliation and decolonization as well. In October 2022, the courtyard’s Indigenous gathering space, designed by artist Tehanenia’kwè:tarons (David R. Maracle), was unveiled with an official ceremony.

Indigenous Gathering Space in Albert Street Residence
The courtyard space incorporates meaningful Indigenous symbols, including the shell of a turtle signifying Mother Earth, and the Two Row Wampum belt pattern incorporated into long bench seating, which represents the first agreement between Haudenosaunee people and Dutch Settlers that was made in 1613. 

“This naming is meaningful because it signals to Indigenous students, and students thinking about Queen’s, that the campus values Indigenous histories and cultures, that we belong here, and that we are valued members of the community,” says Adrianna Lewis, a fifth year Concurrent Education student with Joint Honours in Indigenous Studies and Music, who represented the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre on the naming working group. “I was honoured to be a part of the naming process.”

The facility’s lobby will soon be fitted with a ‘welcome wall’ that will greet students from across the world in a multitude of different languages, further strengthening the space’s inclusive and diverse significance.

Educational materials will be developed to share with incoming and current students, staff, and faculty.

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