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Response to Collective Indigenous Scholars’ Statement on Identity and Institutional Accountability

A joint statement from Queen’s Provost and Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation).

Queen’s takes the issue of Indigenous Identity very seriously, and in fact agrees with many of the challenges facing Indigenous communities outlined in the Collective Indigenous Scholars’ Statement on Identity and Institutional Accountability letter of June 14th, signed by a number of respected national Indigenous scholars.

As the letter acknowledges, “membership in our [Indigenous] communities is not a matter of blood quantum, race, or colonial categories, but in fact is a matter of integrity and reciprocity — a willingness to be in good relation with recognized communities who have long documented histories of existence, and of survivance, resistance, and self-governance.”  We whole-heartedly agree.

As Indigenous members of the Queen’s community, we understand this is a very complex issue and this recent discourse has been both difficult and upsetting.

However, we are concerned with recent allegations raised against some of our Indigenous academics and community members through an anonymous report. We did not simply reject the document, but rather, being privy to authentic personal records, were able to assess and determine that the report had cited erroneous records and ignored important facts.

The determination of who is considered a member of Indigenous community is made by Indigenous community. The individuals in question are accepted and respected members of Indigenous community, accepted by Indigenous leaders, Elders and the Indigenous Council of Queen’s University. Last year, we reflected on our shared responsibilities as part of the Tehontatenentsonterontahkhwa Friendship Wampum Belt that was presented on behalf of the Clan Mothers at Tyendinaga and the Katarokwi Grandmother’s Council. With these responsibilities, we continue to commit to our personal responsibility to nurture good relations with all Indigenous persons and communities, including students, staff, and faculty.

We acknowledge that Indigenous identity is a very complex issue that remains the focus of rigorous and intense debate, particularly as it relates to equity hiring of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis (FNIM) faculty and staff. Queen’s encourages this inquiry and supports the continuation of respectful Indigenous processes that include meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities.


Rahswahérha Mark F. Green
Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)
Queen’s University

Kanonhsyonne Janice C. Hill (Jan)
Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation)
Office of Indigenous Initiatives
Queen’s University


Learning Indigenous perspectives on sustainability

A learning series over National Indigenous History Month introduces participants to Indigenous ideas and practices related to stewardship and the environment.

Photograph of a person holding a feather
The four-part series will feature Indigenous leaders from nearby communities and within the Queen’s community. (University Communications.)

Many Indigenous communities in North America place a high value on serving as responsible stewards of the environment that sustains them. With the expanding repercussions of climate change, these Indigenous values could serve as a powerful inspiration and guide to others on how to live more sustainably. As Queen’s recognizes National Indigenous History Month throughout June, members of the university community are invited to learn about Indigenous perspectives on sustainability through a series of four online learning sessions hosted by the Sustainable Living Series and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

The series will feature Indigenous leaders from nearby communities and within the Queen’s community discussing a variety of topics related to the environment and sustainability. The series kicked off on June 7 with a session on the Four Medicines led by Wendy Phillips, Elder in the Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

“National Indigenous History Month is a perfect time to learn about Indigenous culture and perspectives on sustainability,” says Phillips. “Climate change is threatening our shared environment along with Indigenous ways of life. We all need to work together to make change, and these sessions will help people understand what steps they can take.”

Phillips will also lead the final session of the series on June 24 that focuses on some of the core principles found in Indigenous Ways of Knowing, including stewardship of the land and the concept of giving back.

The second session in the series was led by Kevin Deer from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory. Deer’s session was held on June 10 and focused on solutions to the climate crisis derived from Indigenous knowledge.

Chief Dave Mowat from the Alderville First Nation will lead the third session on June 17. During the session, he will introduce participants to Indigenous perspectives on stewardship.

Learn more about the Indigenous Perspectives on Sustainability Series and find out how to register on the Sustainable Queen’s website. And watch past sessions on the Sustainable Queen’s YouTube channel.

Queen’s lowers flags in memory of student Kamila Lebel-Farrell

The Queen’s community is remembering Kamila Lebel-Farrell, who passed away suddenly after collapsing while exercising outdoors on Wednesday, June 9.  Kamila was 19 years old. 

Kamila was studying Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Science and had recently completed her second year in the program. She was an excellent student, actively involved in the Queen’s community and much loved by her many friends. Kamila came to Queen's from North Bay and will be deeply missed by her parents Brigitte and Jennifer Lebel and Joey and Amanda Farrell, her siblings, and many family and friends in North Bay and beyond. 

"All her many friends describe the shining light she exuded," says a family obituary. "She radiated joy, love and happiness."

The family is planning to start a foundation in her name to carry out Kamila's dream to help build self-sustaining economies in developing countries.

Flags on the Queen's campus will be lowered to half-mast on Friday, June 18 in memory of Kamila. 

A family obituary is available online.

Statement regarding anonymous document alleging false claims to Indigenous identity at Queen’s University

Recently, an anonymous document has been circulating on social media leveling allegations against several members of the Queen’s University community and accusing them of making false claims to Indigenous identity. The PDF document misleadingly uses the Queen’s University name; to be clear, this document was not commissioned or approved by Queen’s University in any way. We reject the anonymous document in question, which is misleading and contains factual inaccuracies including some genealogical information of individuals named in the document.

Queen’s supports its Indigenous faculty and staff, and community partners and the communities to which they belong, and its Indigenous Council – all of which have been targeted by these malicious allegations. The university respects and trusts the Indigenous protocols used to identify those it considers Indigenous. The individuals identified in the document are welcome, active, and respected members of the Indigenous and academic communities within the university.   

Queen’s is investigating the origins and nature of the document in question and will take what action it may deem appropriate to support those whose professional reputations are being maligned.

Celebrating Queen’s spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation

Queen’s receives the Deshpande Symposium Award for The Entrepreneurial University for its curriculum innovation and student engagement.

Every Spring, the Deshpande Foundation hosts the Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education, which brings together academics, policy planners, practitioners, business incubators, and foundations to discuss best practices in integrating entrepreneurship throughout their college and university communities.

At this year’s virtual gathering, Queen’s University received the Deshpande Symposium Award for The Entrepreneurial University. This award celebrates an institution that demonstrates excellence in entrepreneurship-related curriculum innovation and student engagement.

"Entrepreneurship has become an important means by which we fulfill our obligations of positive societal impact, to the regional community in which it is embedded, and in global society," says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

Queen’s was unanimously voted as the 2021 recipient of this honour for fostering a culture of innovation throughout its many curricular and extra-curricular offerings.

Curricular Offerings in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The university’s academic and curricular programs of study make entrepreneurship and innovation a priority at all levels. Undergraduate and graduate students across Queen’s are exposed to entrepreneurship and related topics in a broad range of sectors across disciplines. Some courses engage students in team-based venture projects in for-profits contexts, while others, like the Arts and Science "Dean’s Changemaker" courses ASCX200/300, give them opportunities to identify and pursue entrepreneurial solutions to pressing societal problems. The Dean’s Changemaker program supported 12 students in its pilot run and is expected to grow to 50 students per year.

Curricular delivery prioritizes interdisciplinarity. The Certificate in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity (CEIC), offered by the Dan School of Drama and Music, is taught not only by faculty from the Dan School but also from the Smith School of Business and the faculties of Arts and Science and Engineering and Applied Science. These pan-university partnerships persist even at senior levels of education and training. The blended format Master of Management of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MMIE), for example, is a joint collaboration between Business and Engineering and offers networking opportunities with other programs across campus. Since its inception five years ago, 420 students representing 25 countries globally have completed the program, which now accepts 114 students/cohort. MMIE participants have created 89 start-ups and scale-ups, collectively raising $750,000 and employing 112 people. By placing a strong emphasis on interdisciplinarity, Queen’s has been able to increase each individual unit’s capacity for providing immersive programming, thereby fostering development of entrepreneurial mindsets.

[Photo of the QICSI 2019 cohort at Mitchell Hall]
The 2019 Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) cohort at Mitchell Hall.

Co- and Extra-Curricular Offerings in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The university also offers numerous co- and extra-curricular opportunities in entrepreneurship and innovation, many of which are provided and/or coordinated through the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) and Queen’s University’s Partnerships and Innovation (QPI). DDQIC was founded in 2012, following a significant gift jointly provided by distinguished alumni Andrew Dunin, Sc ’83, MBA ‘87, and his wife Anne Dunin, ArtSci ‘83, and Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, PhD ‘79, and his wife Jaishree Deshpande. 

DDQIC collaborates with schools and faculties, assisting in the development and delivery of many co-curricular programs across campus. The centre runs the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI), a 16-week full-time program in which participants complete a two-week boot camp and receive seed capital to found and build ventures. Since 2012, DDQIC has mentored 460 changemakers in QICSI and helped students launch and grow 200 ventures, 50% of which are still in operation, including Mosaic Manufacturing, CleanSlate UV, and RockMass Technologies. The part-time DDQIC QyourVenture program operates year-long and supports early stage start-ups by providing foundation and mentorship. Furthermore, DDQIC prioritizes innovators and leaders from underrepresented groups through its Konnect program for women entrepreneurs and the Jim Leech MasterCard Foundation Fellowship for young African entrepreneurs. 

QPI supports programming through workshops targeting thematic areas and groups (e.g. health, research-based graduate students) and in sector-targeted and IP/commercialization-advising roles. It provides an accelerator facility for growing ventures, complementing DDQIC’s QICSI, and offers linkages to other ecosystems, notably the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway in Health Innovation, Invest Ottawa, the Toronto-based Technology Innovation Accelerator Program, and L-Spark. Since 2014, QPI has supported 300 entrepreneurs and 150 ventures.

Student engagement extends beyond Queen’s as DDQIC, QPI, and their partner organizations deliver entrepreneurship-geared educational outreach programs, providing translational career and leadership skills to high school students in the Kingston area and globally.

The university received the award as part of a ceremony on June 10, 2021.  

Principal’s statement on Islamophobia and London tragedy

On June 6, 2021, a meaningless act of violence was perpetrated against the Afzaal family in London, Ontario. As an academic community in which the reverberations of this tragedy have been felt in deeply personal ways, we must use our voices to speak uncompromisingly against harassment and discrimination in all its forms. 

I issued a statement on social media some days ago, and many others within our community have released comments condemning the Islamophobia that fueled this tragedy. I stand alongside my colleagues and as principal, echo their words. Education is a powerful weapon against ignorance and we must continue to educate and work to eliminate all forms of hate and discrimination. 

I offer my personal and the university’s sympathies and support to all those affected by these murders.

Patrick Deane
Principal and Vice-Chancellor

For the Record: June 10, 2021

For the Record provides postings of appointment, committee, grant, award, and other notices set out by collective agreements and university policies and processes. It is the university’s primary vehicle for sharing this information with our community.

Submit For the Record information for posting to Gazette editor Andrew Carroll.

Search committee for Associate Dean, Equity and Social Accountability, Faculty of Health Sciences

A search committee has been established to recommend a candidate for appointment to the position of Associate Dean, Equity and Social Accountability, Faculty of Health Sciences, at Queen’s University.

Committee Membership

  • Dr. Leslie Flynn (Chair), Vice Dean, Education, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dr. Oyedeji Ayonrinde, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry
  • Amit Bansal, Chief Financial Officer, Kingston Health Sciences Centre
  • Dr. Heather Braund, Health Education Researcher and Consultant, Office of Professional Development and Educational Scholarship
  • Benjamin Carroll, PhD Student, School of Nursing
  • Celina Caesar-Chavannes, EDI Senior Advisor, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Michael Coccimiglio, President of the Rehabilitation Therapy Society, School of Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Dr. Sophy Chan, Research Associate, Department of Family Medicine
  • Dr. Peggy DeJong, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Dr. Nora Fayed, Assistant Professor, School of Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Dr. Michael Kawaja, Associate Dean (Academic), School of Medicine
  • Jill McCreary, Manager of Operations, Department of Emergency Medicine
  • Allison Philpot, Director of Medical Administration, Providence Care
  • Dr. Michelle Quaye, Resident, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Department of Family Medicine
  • Katie Roberts (Secretary), Senior Staffing Officer, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dr. Erna Snelgrove-Clarke, Vice Dean (Health Sciences) and Director, School of Nursing
  • Dr. Claudio Soares, Head, Department of Psychiatry
  • Dr. Giselle Valarezo, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Bryan Wong, Aesculapian Society, School of Medicine

All staff, faculty, students, and members of the university community are encouraged to provide input on the profile of our future associate dean, Equity and Social Accountability, via the completion of this feedback form. Questions can be directed to Crystal Tripple, Staffing Officer at ct82@queensu.ca.

Feedback received will be shared with the committee and will help to inform both the development of the role description and the search process. In addition, nominations to the position, including rationale for supporting each nominee are encouraged.

University Council election period open until June 15 at 9 am ET

Queen’s alumni are invited to elect 10 new representatives to the University Council.

An online vote for the 10 four-year term (2021-2025) positions is being conducted now and will close on June 15 at 9 am ET.

The election is open to alumni only. All alumni should have received an email with voting instructions. Any alumni who have not received this email and are interested in voting can contact the University Secretariat at univsec@queensu.ca to request a ballot.

Biographical sketches of the candidate can be viewed online at the University Secretariat and Legal Counsel website.

The nominees are:

  • Moez Ali
  • Pamela Anoliefo
  • Nirosha Balakumar
  • Saad Bashir
  • Gage Benyon
  • Elena Christopoulos
  • Cameron Clark
  • Gregory Dole
  • Alex Elbrecht
  • Leo Erlikhman
  • Greg Frankson
  • Matt Gaiser
  • Sara Gelgor
  • Jeremy Gooden
  • Nicholas Grubic
  • Andrew Handford
  • Frank Handforth
  • Jason Hann
  • Myke Healy
  • Daniel Heath
  • Rosemary Helmer
  • Willa Henry
  • Daria Adèle Juüdi-Hope
  • Aram Daniel Kerkonian
  • Sandra Kwon
  • Brad Leonard
  • Luz Longsworth
  • Varun Malhotra
  • Cathy Matthews
  • Ellen Mary Mills (nee Novakowski)
  • Michael Parsche
  • Tka Pinnock
  • Noor Rahemtulla
  • Cameron Raymond
  • Saara Romu
  • George Rossolatos
  • Ahsan Sadiq
  • Steve Scholte
  • Keith Siva
  • Christopher Sullivan
  • Danny Szpiro
  • Tim Tang
  • Jenkin Tsang
  • David Walker
  • Hilary Windrem
  • Jon Wiseman

Established by statute in 1874, University Council serves as both an advisory and an ambassadorial body to the University as a whole and is responsible for the election of the Chancellor.  Although it is not directly involved in governance, the Council may bring to the Senate or Board of Trustees any matter that it believes affects Queen's well-being and prosperity. 

For more information visit the University Council webpage. Questions can be directed to the University Secretariat by email.


Building leadership capacity

Inaugural Building Leadership @ Queen's program supports the university’s commitment to EDII and the new strategic framework that articulates the value of inclusion.

Queen’s University recently introduced a new leadership development program for faculty and senior administration members.

Building Leadership Capacity @ Queen’s, facilitated by Human Resources Learning and Development and designed to support the new academic leadership development framework, is an innovative training program aimed at defining and expanding leadership capacity at the university while also providing a diverse skillset for current and future leaders.

The program is offered in two streams – one for newly-tenured faculty and the other for senior administrators – with sessions delivered on a monthly basis. Each session provides leadership learning opportunities on topics such as emotional intelligence, equity, diversity, inclusivity and Indigeneity, team building and collaboration, strategic thinking, resilience and agility, and much more. The pilot program started in December and will conclude in June.

“This inaugural program supports the university’s commitment to EDII and the new strategic framework that articulates the value of inclusion at all levels of the institution,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “The purpose of Building Leadership Capacity @ Queen’s is to create more opportunities for a diverse array of members of the academy and managers to take on senior leadership roles. This is essential if we are to succeed in our bold designs for the future.”

Among the overall goals of the program is ensuring an engaged, competent leadership pool for Queen’s while also creating a psychologically safe culture where leadership is celebrated and supported.

Self-awareness and an openness to lifelong learning is essential to leadership, points out Steve Millan, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Resources).

“This program offers faculty members and staff an opportunity to share their expertise and add to their leadership skillset,” he says. “The development and delivery of Building Leadership Capacity @ Queen’s will certainly benefit the university community as it continues to take on new challenges.”

Preparing for the next step

Tandy Thomas arrived at Queen’s as a faculty member of the Smith School of Business in 2009 and received full tenure in 2019. As an associate professor, Dr. Thomas’ responsibilities have grown to include more leadership as well as mentoring roles. She saw the program as a great opportunity to help her grow into this new phase of her career, and strengthen and broaden the skills that she needs as she moves ahead.

“I’ve found the program to be tremendously useful. Each of the sessions has been quite different, in terms of a different aspect of leadership,” she says. “I think I can safely say that I’ve walked away from every session with a new perspective on something and a takeaway that could be immediately applicable to how I approach my work and the leadership and coaching roles that I now have with my students. It has been tremendously helpful. The sessions provide both a broader perspective on leadership and also very specific action items that we can do now to be better leaders immediately.”

Dr. Thomas is responsible for supervising and mentoring doctoral students, many of whom will go on to become academic leaders within their communities. She adds that this role is incredibly difficult and one that academics often are not trained for. She has found that the skills and information she is gaining through the leadership program are instantly applicable and make her a better mentor.

“Most people raise doctoral students the way they were raised but those models aren’t necessarily transferable to the range of students that we are seeing,” she says. “So the skills that I am gaining from the leadership sessions help me think through broader leadership roles and also help me think about how can I best serve my students, bring out the best in them, because my students aren’t always going to be like me. I need to have a broad skillset so I can effectively coach a diversity of students.”

As head of Information Services for Queen’s University Library, Nathalie Soini sees the Building Leadership Capacity @ Queen’s program as a great opportunity to develop new leadership and management skills and for participants to see themselves in a different light.

Already she has been able to apply this new perspective, creating a more collaborative environment within her team.

“I have a fairly big staff and I can apply what I’ve learned as a manager and also as someone who is being managed,” she explains. “I think there are two aspects to it. I have been using some of what we have learned already.”

Another overall goal of the program, and a key component of all Human Resources courses, is increasing cross-disciplinary collaboration and professional networks. Despite being a large workplace with abroad range of specializations and areas of study, there can be limited opportunities for working with peers from other departments. This isolation has been amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The new connections (through the program) are interesting. Normally I would not meet people in medicine or other parts of the university and I think we forget that there are other people at the university having similar issues,” she says about the discussions fostered by the program. “That’s been really refreshing and nice to hear. We are all dealing with the pandemic, some more than others depending on the department, but we are definitely working towards the same goal, and that’s to create a healthy vibrant workspace where people are happy to come in and do their jobs.”

Visit the Human Resources website to learn more about the Learning and Development opportunities for all Queen’s employees.

Getting back together, faster

Queen’s participates in national campaign to encourage people to get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.

  • Photograph of Queen's students with message to seek out vaccination for COVID-19.
    The Faster Together social media campaign is built around the message that high rates of vaccination is the key to helping society recover from the pandemic.
  • Photograph of Queen's students with message to seek out vaccination for COVID-19.
    The Faster Together social media campaign is built around the message that high rates of vaccination is the key to helping society recover from the pandemic.
  • Photograph of Queen's students with message to seek out vaccination for COVID-19.
    The Faster Together social media campaign is built around the message that high rates of vaccination is the key to helping society recover from the pandemic.
  • Photograph of Queen's students with message to seek out vaccination for COVID-19.
    The Faster Together social media campaign is built around the message that high rates of vaccination is the key to helping society recover from the pandemic.
  • Photograph of Queen's students with message to seek out vaccination for COVID-19.
    The Faster Together social media campaign is built around the message that high rates of vaccination is the key to helping society recover from the pandemic.

As Queen’s looks forward to returning to many campus activities in September, it is encouraging all faculty, staff, and students to get vaccinated. To support this effort, the university is taking part in Faster Together, a cross-Canada social media campaign that encourages people in all age groups to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Faster Together is a cross-sector collaborative project led and developed by Spark Advocacy, Abacus Data and the Canadian Labour Congress. The social media campaign is built around the message that high rates of vaccination is the key to helping society recover from the pandemic. It launched in early June with more than a hundred partners from across the country, including Queen’s, Universities Canada and 16 other universities, and the list keeps growing.

“The sooner people are vaccinated, the sooner we will be able to bring the Queen’s community back together to take part in all of the activities that make up the university experience,” says Vice-Principal (University Relations) Michael Fraser. “We hope that by participating in this social campaign we can reach members of our community, especially students, and encourage them to seek out a vaccine this summer.”

Queen’s has worked with Faster Together to develop customized materials that show events like convocation ceremonies and everyday pre-pandemic activities like in-person classes. University Relations will be working with the Division of Student Affairs, the Alma Mater Society, and the Society of Graduate and Professional Students to create Queen’s campaign materials throughout the summer.

“As we are planning to resume in-person academics and activities in the fall, it is especially important for students to get vaccinated as soon as they have the opportunity to do so,” says Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney. “That’s the most important thing they can do to help keep their peers and the community safe.”

Queen’s is working with KFL&A Public Health on a comprehensive vaccination strategy. While the university expects many students will be fully vaccinated by the end of August, it will ensure access to vaccines if students arrive before they are able to get their second dose. This will include an on-campus vaccination clinic for students. Details on the strategy will be posted to the COVID-19 information website as they become available.

Learn more about Faster Together on the campaign website.


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