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One year later

Principal Daniel Woolf reflects on the year that has gone by since the publication of the Principal's Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion final report, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission task force final report.

[Principal Daniel Woolf and Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) hold a wampum belt]
Principal Daniel Woolf and Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) hold a wampum belt at a special Senate meeting to mark the 175th anniversary. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)

Just over a year ago, the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity and Inclusion (PICRDI) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Task Force presented their final reports about how to make Queen’s a more inclusive, diverse and welcoming institution, and one that also values and reflects Indigenous histories and perspectives. Since then, many people across the institution have been working towards these goals and I’m pleased with the progress we have made so far.

This week, we released the one-year implementation reports for PICRDI and TRC and in the reports you will find very extensive updates on all of the initiatives and projects that have taken place. This first year has focused on building the foundation we need to guide long-term, sustainable change. Most notably, this includes expanding Deputy Provost Teri Shearer’s profile to cover our diversity and inclusion portfolio, establishing the University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity (UCARE), instituting the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and appointing Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) as the first Director of Indigenous Initiatives, as well as having all areas of the university develop and implement their own plans for addressing the TRC and PICRDI recommendations.

Read the Annual Reports
PICRDI
TRC

We need to continue the dialogue that has begun with all members of the community. The long-term change we are striving for will only happen when everyone—students, faculty, staff, and the broader community— is both committed to and engaged in the process, and understands that being a diverse, inclusive and welcoming institution enhances our academic mission, our student experience and our research. We will be a stronger, better Queen’s for doing this work. 

There is a saying, “Nothing worth having comes easy.” Certainly we believe that having a diverse, inclusive and welcoming institution is not just worth having, but something we must have. To get there takes a lot of hard work, and we’ve seen a tremendous effort over the past year.

However, I want to emphasize that we will not consider our work to be complete once we have ‘checked all the boxes’ on the lists of recommendations. We must continue to prioritize and work towards these ideals. New ideas and initiatives will also emerge and be championed from every corner of the university. I encourage you to read the implementation reports to get a better understanding of what we have collectively accomplished.

I thank everyone who has contributed to these initiatives over the past year and those who continue to lead the charge. I look forward to ‘year two’, using the momentum we have built to create positive change at Queen’s.  

  • [Various diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation leaders on campus]
    A number of new positions were created and new people were hired over the past year to foster diversity and inclusivity on campus. From L-R, front to back: Bezhig Waabshke Ma'iingan Gewetiigaabo (Deborah St Amant), Vanessa Yzaguirre, Stephanie Simpson, Mona Rahman, Erin Clow, Teri Shearer, Klodiana Kolomitro, Lavie Williams, (Thohahoken) Michael Doxtater, and Alana Butler. (University Communications)
  • [Members of the University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity (UCARE)]
    In the fall, the university formed the University Council on Anti-Racism and Equity (UCARE) to promote and support the efforts of the university to foster a more diverse and inclusive campus community. (University Communications)
  • [Principal Daniel Woolf and Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) pose with the Queen's Remembers plinth dedicated to Indigenous Peoples]
    Principal Daniel Woolf and Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) pose with the Queen's Remembers plinth dedicated to Indigenous Peoples. It was unveiled in the fall as the first in a series of "Queen's Remembers" plinths located across campus. (University Communications)
  • [Jill Christie, Patty Hajdu, Heidi Penning]
    Jill Christie (left) and Heidi Penning (right) of the Queen's Equity and Human Rights Office accept an award from the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour for an equity tool and framework their office developed. (Supplied Photo)
  • [TRC one-year anniversary event - circle]
    Members of the Queen’s community take part in a Haudenosaunee round dance at the event marking the anniversary of the release of the Queen’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force’s final report. (Photo by Garrett Elliott)