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Queen’s celebrates Indigenous graduates

University leadership and staff share message of congratulations on National Indigenous Peoples Day, as Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee flags are raised on campus.

Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee flags flying in front of Richardson Hall
Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee flags flying in front of Richardson Hall.

With this year’s traditional convocation ceremonies postponed due to COVID-19, Queen’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives, the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre, and campus-wide Indigenous support staff put together a special video message to congratulate Indigenous graduates on their important milestone.

“I’m so very honoured to be able to offer you my most sincere congratulations on the competition of your degree,” says Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation). “It’s been a very trying year but you all persevered and you succeeded, and you should be very proud of yourselves for doing so. You are the future that our ancestors dreamed of.”

Campus-wide Indigenous support staff expressed positive wishes and salutations to 123 self-identified Indigenous graduates who have completed degrees across 24 disciplines, including Business, Arts and Science, Engineering, Education, Health Sciences, and Law.

“We were so happy to be able to support you during your time here at Queen’s,” says Kandice Baptiste, Director of Queen’s Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre. “My biggest and most heartfelt congratulations to all of you for all of your accomplishments. Yoya:nare (Good job)!”

View the video message on the Queen’s University YouTube channel. Visit the Queen’s University Registrar website for more on how degree conferrals and graduation were celebrated this year. This year’s graduates will be updated as details on planning for in-person recognition events are developed.

Flags raised to honour National Indigenous Peoples Day

The Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee flags were raised in front of Richardson Hall in recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day and Queen’s University’s Indigenous community members, as well as in honour of the traditional lands on which the institution sits.

“I could not be more happy that the flags of indigenous peoples will now fly permanently over the Queen’s campus,” says Patrick Deane, Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor. In an academic year that had barely begun when racism and homophobia cast a shadow over Chown Hall, and which is ending as people around the globe are demanding an end to continuing racial hatred and inhumanity, we need a great deal more than symbolism. But nevertheless we communicate with and inspire each other through symbols, so to celebrate National indigenous People’s Day in this way strengthens our resolve and affirms us in our commitment to reconciliation.

The flags adorn recently-installed poles set to fly the two Indigenous flags continuously.

“I am happy to witness the raising of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabek flags at Richardson Hall, especially in respect of Indigenous Peoples History Month and National Indigenous People's Day, says Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill). “This marks acknowledgment and a positive response to the wishes of our students as well as contributing to visibility and honouring of Indigenous peoples in our community and country.