Queen's marks National Indigenous Peoples Day

Indigenous Initiatives

Queen's marks National Indigenous Peoples Day

Campus and Kingston communities celebrate with events and learning opportunities.

By Communications Staff

June 17, 2024


Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee flags flying outside Queen's Richardson Hall.

Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee flags flying on campus.

Every year, June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. It takes place during Indigenous Peoples History Month—a time to acknowledge and celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. In recognition, the Queen’s and Kingston communities have hosted and planned several learning opportunities, events, and support initiatives 

“Each June, we are fortunate to have an entire month to celebrate the diverse history, culture and accomplishments of Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island,” says Mika Henry, Acting Associate Director in the university’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives (OII). “This month allows space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to renew our shared commitment to building relationships, learning from each other and to ensure this work and community engagement continues year-round.”


Campus and community activities 

On-campus activities in support of National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD) and National Indigenous History Month have been ongoing throughout June. 

From June 3-4, the university hosted its 25th annual Indigenous Knowledge Symposium, bringing together Indigenous researchers, scholars, and knowledge keepers from across Canada and the world to share insights and discuss ongoing efforts to honour treaties between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Organized by the OII and attended by Indigenous faculty, staff, students, and settler allies, this gathering provides important space for Indigenous knowledge and culture on campus. 

On June 13, OII’s Cultural Advisor Allen Doxtator (Te ho wis kwûnt) hosted the first of two Elder Talks planned this month. He will lead the next Elder Talk on June 20, during which he and attendees will discuss NIPD as a moment to positively celebrate and learn about Indigenous culture, history, and achievement. Elder Talks take place throughout the year and are open to all. 

The OII’s Indigenous Pathways Coordinator, Misty Underwood, will lead a learning session as well, hosting an upcoming Walk Talk—her popular land-based Indigenous education initiative open to those looking to reconnect with natural surroundings. 

Various faculties and units are leading activities, too. Queen’s Health Sciences will celebrate meeting a key commitment in the faculty’s strategic plan—the opening of the Office of Indigenous Health—and the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre will host a day of self-care activities and lunch for Indigenous staff and students on June 26.


National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., faculty, staff, and students can join the broader Kingston community for National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations at City Park. Organized by the City of Kingston, Language Nest and more local partners, the afternoon event will feature Indigenous artisan and food vendors, and activities for children and youth. At 6 p.m., festivities will continue at Springer Market Square with a concert by Indigenous music group 2nd Line Bluegrass. 

For more on Indigenous Initiatives at Queen’s visit the OII’s website.

Community Stories