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Queen's Legal Aid Director appointed to Nunavut Court of Justice

Susan Charlesworth (Law'81) is heading back to Nunavut, and connecting with another Law alumnus.

[Susan Charlesworth Pond Inlet Nunavut 2015]
Susan Charlesworth in 2015 in Nunavut. "My job at Queen's Legal Aid has really prepared me for this role," she says. (Supplied Photo)
Two years after returning from Nunavut, Queen’s Legal Aid Director Susan Charlesworth (Law’81) is making a return as a federal justice.
Justice Charlesworth was appointed to the bench on June 21 alongside fellow Queen’s Law graduate Christian Lyons (Law’02). It’s a role that her time at Queen’s Legal Aid has made her distinctly well suited for thanks to Nunavut’s distinctive court structure. 
“Unlike most jurisdictions in Canada, in Nunavut there is only one level of court: the Nunavut Court of Justice,” she explains. “Judges do everything normally divided into two or more courts. In Nunavut, the one court – and its justices – do everything! I will be looking at cases ranging from theft with a guilty plea to murder requiring a jury trial, from family law and estates to constitutional issues.”
This breadth of scope and judgment is something that years of work supervising law students at Queen’s Legal Aid has prepared Charlesworth for. “I love criminal law, but my job here has really prepared me for this role,” she says. “As the Director of Queen’s Legal Aid, I work with law students on files ranging from landlord-tenant issues to small claims court, traffic matters – an entire gamut of issues that will have relevance. This ability to accumulate a wide variety of experience and expertise while working with students and the public in a pro bono context will definitely be a benefit.”
The call to the bench came not entirely unexpectedly – “I got a call earlier in June about CSIS security clearance, which gave me an inkling,” Charlesworth laughs – but was still in some ways abrupt. “I got the call at 3:30 on Thursday afternoon,” she says. “They told me I was a judge – the order had been signed that morning. That’s how it happens. They don’t ask ‘are you sure’?”
The announcement has left Charlesworth, "a bit nervous, a bit overwhelmed, but mostly happy and excited". This new position will mean stepping back from her role with Queen's Legal Aid, as an appointed judge cannot provide legal advice. 
Sill, she says she is looking forward to the next stage of a journey that began in 2013 with a first trip to the north – and now, almost five years later, returning to help shape its judicial future.
This article originally appeared on the Queen's Law website.

Five new Queen’s National Scholars announced

QNS program is designed to enrich teaching and research at the university while also supporting faculty renewal and diversity and inclusion efforts.

Designed to enrich teaching and research at the university, the Queen’s National Scholars (QNS) program has been bringing outstanding, early-career academics to Queen’s since 1985.

This year, five new faculty members will arrive on campus as Queen’s National Scholars, in fields of study from precision molecular medicine to African American gender history to computational neuroeconomics.

“The QNS program is an important initiative supporting our faculty renewal efforts, with a particular focus on newly-developing fields of knowledge,” says Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion), who co-chairs the QNS advisory committee. “The program is also an excellent opportunity to reinforce the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through its recruitment efforts.”

The 2018 QNS are:

Carolyn Prouse – Queen’s National Scholar in Urban Economic Geography
Faculty of Arts and Science

Dr. Prouse’s research focuses on critical urban post-colonial geographies in South America; her work inhabits an exciting space that combines critical economic geography methodologies to explore issues around economic uncertainty, feminism, and racism. Dr. Prouse has a well-established teaching portfolio and is capable of developing and delivering new and interesting topics to students. She was awarded her PhD in 2017 from the University of British Columbia and, most recently, held a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto.

[Chantelle Capicciotti]Chantelle Capicciotti – Queen’s National Scholar in Precision Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Arts and Science, Faculty of Health Sciences

Dr. Capicciotti’s research focuses on identification and chemo-enzymatic synthesis of molecules (glycoconjugates: protein- and lipid-bound carbohydrates) that are crucial to a vast array of cellular recognition processes impacting human health and disease. The methodologies she has already developed, and those she plans to advance at Queen’s, are highly pertinent to the fields of disease biomarker discovery and modern biologic pharmaceutical design, both of which are primary goals of personalized medicine. She arrives at Queen’s from the University of Georgia.

Ashwini VasanthakumarAshwini Vasanthakumar – Queen’s National Scholar in Legal and Political Philosophy
Faculty of Law

Dr. Vasanthakumar’s research bridges law, philosophy, and politics. It is both theoretical and planted in the real world of lived experience and policy compromise. Her research focuses on migrants and migrant communities, exploring broader contexts of community membership, citizenship, allegiance, and transitional justice from the perspective of postcolonial states and migrant and other marginalized communities. Her most recent project seeks to understand the rights and duties of diaspora communities: in relation to each other, to compatriots remaining in their countries of origin, to victims and perpetrators of atrocities, and to their adopted countries. She arrives at Queen’s from King’s College London in England.

Laila HaidaraliLaila Haidarali – Queen’s National Scholar in African American Gender History
Faculty of Arts and Science

Dr. Haidarali’s research is broadly concerned with race, gender, and representation in the study of African American women in 20th-century U.S. history. She engages the feminist politics of beauty to examine how mass-media representations and women’s self-styling efforts reflected one strand of civil rights activism that developed throughout the interwar decades. Dr. Haidarali’s work focuses on the rise of a beauty ideal that was defined by women’s brown complexions; she queries how and why an ideal of brown-skin beauty accrued heightened cultural currency during the era of African America’s mass modernization. She arrives from the University of Essex in England.

[Anita Tusche]Anita Tusche – Queen’s National Scholar in Computational Neuroeconomics
Faculty of Arts and Science

Dr. Tusche’s area of research interest is computational neuroscience with a focus on social cognition and decision-making. Her work seeks to disentangle computations that are generic to decision‐making, specialized for social cognition, and their interaction. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a neurally‐informed cognitive model of social decision‐making that enables targeted, process‐specific modulations to foster prosocial, healthy, and sustainable behaviours. Her research uses a highly-interdisciplinary approach that utilizes insights and methodological tools of psychology, behavioral economics, neuroscience (with a focus on functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI), and computational modeling (machine learning techniques, drift diffusion modeling). Dr. Tusche arrives at Queen’s from the California Institute of Technology.

The program provides $100,000 annually for five years for each QNS and is intended to attract outstanding early and mid-career researchers to Queen’s.

Principal Daniel Woolf has identified faculty renewal as a high priority for reinvestment by the university in support of the academic mission. The five-year renewal plan will see 200 new faculty hired, which nearly doubles the hiring pace of the past six years and will result in approximately 10 net new hires per year.

Faculty renewal supports Queen’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by giving the university the opportunity to proactively seek representation from equity-seeking groups such as women, people with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, and racialized individuals. Faculty renewal also facilitates the building of Queen’s current areas of research strength, as well as developing newly-identified emerging research priorities.  The program directly supports the objectives outlined in the Academic Plan, the Strategic Research Plan, and various other institutional planning documents.

More information about the Queen’s National Scholar program is available online.

Introducing our new faculty members: Mohamed Khimji

Mohamed Khimji joins the Faculty of Law as the David Allgood Professor in Business Law.

This profile is part of a series highlighting some of the new faculty members who have recently joined the Queen's community as part of the principal's faculty renewal plans, which will see 200 new faculty members hired between 2017-18 and 2022-23.

Mohamed Khimji (Law) sat down with the Gazette to talk about his experience so far. Mr. Khimji is the David Allgood Professor in Business Law.

[Mohamed Khimji]
Mohamed Khimji joined Queen's as the David Allgood Professor in Business Law. (Supplied Photo)
Fast Facts About Mr. Khimji

Department: Law

Hometown: Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

Alma mater: London School of Econonmics and Political Science (LL.M.)

Research areas: Shareholder democracy, business law

Hobbies include: Champions League football (soccer), listening to Indie pop music, cooking

Mr. Khimji's web bio
Why did you decide to join Queen’s Faculty of Law?
I have been in academia for a while now. I started at Dalhousie University in the Law school there, and later taught at the University of Western Ontario where I became a chair in corporate finance during my last year. Then the opportunity came up at Queen’s to take on the David Allgood professorship, which struck me as a very interesting and exciting opportunity.
For this role, the Faculty of Law was looking for someone to provide leadership to the business law program and increase its research profile. The opportunity to drive this initiative was very appealing. As an academic, it is an opportunity to go beyond teaching and research and to get involved in administration.
If you look at the major areas of practice, Queen’s is very strong in all of them. This is about taking the business law program a step further.
What got you interested in business law?
Like a lot of law students, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Business law is the default thing to do. It’s easy to default into it because the business law firms tend to have a very structured hiring program – if you just flow through it, you get a job and you get into it.
I happened to like it, so I stayed in it and I went to graduate school. I got a bit lucky…I took a leave of absence from my firm to do a master’s with a plan to leave my firm and do a PhD later. Once I published my LLM thesis, Dalhousie offered me a job – I didn’t need to obtain my PhD.
It made no sense to move to Nova Scotia, but when you’re young and naïve you make bolder decisions. So I packed up my car, moved to Halifax, and that started my teaching career.
How has teaching been at Queen’s?
I very much enjoy teaching at Queen’s and I like the students. They’re very smart and engaged. I think Queen’s students are especially nice to deal with as people. I get along with them very well, and part of that might be my leadership role in the business law department.
One thing I want to do is help the students to be more successful here. I want more of them to get the big business law jobs, I want more of them to be successful when they get those jobs. The learning curve is quite steep and I want them to be as prepared as possible, so I engage with them in terms of where we might improve.
Tell us about your research.
Last year I won a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development grant for a five-year empirical study on shareholder democracy.
This is a big corporate governance issue right now – the extent to which we allocate power to shareholders and management. There are different opinions about what is best for society, what is best for capital markets.
I want to find out why shareholders engage and how shareholders engage, and the extent to which they engage.
What I am working on now is a qualitative study where I am interviewing the different players in the shareholder democracy infrastructure. The interviews are necessary to find out information that is not publicly available.
After this, I want to combine some quantitative analysis with the publicly available information and make some policy recommendations.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I have been in academia long enough where some of my earliest students are now quite senior in the profession. My proudest moment is when I had one of my former students come back to my class to deliver a guest lecture.
This student was a partner in a transactional law practice and he gave a lecture in my mergers and acquisitions class. That was a very proud moment – the student coming back to teach the teacher.
How are you settling in?
My family and I have been living in Toronto. We enjoy the time we spend in Kingston, however. I like the small town community feel. I like bumping into people on my way to work and on my way home from work – I like knowing who my neighbours are.
I find I don’t bump into my students as much as you might think in a city this size – which means I don’t see them in compromising situations and they don’t see me in compromising situations!
The Faculty of Law is great and has been very welcoming. It’s an exciting time to be here with the hiring of seven new faculty members starting in July. We have become more diverse in terms of subject matters and methodologies.
I am also looking forward to working with Robert Yalden again. We will be working closely together as he was appointed the inaugural Stephen Sigurdson Professor in Corporate Law and Finance.
[Khimji office Faculty of Law Queen's]
Walking the halls of the Faculty of Law building, Mr. Khimji's office is not hard to spot. (University Communications)
Any hobbies or interests?
I love football (or soccer as Canadians like to call it) and I cheer for Liverpool in the Champions League.
When I was growing up in Tanzania, you could support one of two football teams. It was either Liverpool or Manchester United. My family happened to frequent this teashop that supported Liverpool, so they became my team. It has been an exciting season – Liverpool reached the final, but then lost quite badly in the final.
I also really enjoy cooking. Right now I am interested in Sichuan cuisine and I am a huge Fuchsia Dunlop fan. She is a food writer who went to the famous Sichuan cooking school for a year. I use her books…I love the spice.
And, of course, taking care of my son who is five months old!

Faculty Renewal

Principal Daniel Woolf has identified faculty renewal as a high priority for reinvestment by the university in support of the academic mission. The five-year renewal plan, launched in 2017, will see 200 new faculty hired, which nearly doubles the hiring pace of the previous six years.

Faculty renewal supports Queen’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by giving the university the opportunity to seek, proactively, representation from equity-seeking groups such as women, people with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, and racialized individuals. It will also build on Queen’s current areas of research strength.

To learn more about the Principal’s faculty renewal plans, read this Gazette article. Stay tuned for additional new faculty profiles in the Gazette.

Indigenous art proposal selected by Faculty of Law

Visitors to the Faculty of Law building this fall will see a unique Indigenous art installation.

[Hannah Claus and her proposal]
Hannah Claus showcases her proposal, which consists of wampum belts made of translucent purple coloured and frosted clear acrylic sheets and hung vertically from the ceiling of the Faculty of Law building. (University Relations)

“Words that are lasting,” an artwork by Montréal (Tiohtià:ke) visual artist Hannah Claus, has been selected as the winning entry in the Indigenous Art Commission competition held by the Queen’s Faculty of Law.

This goal of the initiative is to introduce Indigenous art into the Gowling WLG Atrium of the Faculty of Law, and is an important element of the law school’s multifaceted response to the Calls to Action of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“This art installation will beautifully represent Indigenous legal traditions and reflect part of the commitment of Queen’s Law to respond to the calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Report,” says Bill Flanagan, Dean of the Faculty of Law and chair of the commission. 

Ms. Claus’ vision involves a suspended art installation based on wampum belts that will hang from the ceiling in the law school's atrium airy expanse. Made from translucent purple-coloured and frosted clear acrylic sheets, these laser-cut forms will interplay with the natural light that floods the atrium.

“I’m elated to have my project chosen as the artwork,” Ms. Claus says. “Wampum belts are mnemonic aids utilized by the Haudenosaunee and other Indigenous peoples within oral nation-to-nation agreements. They represent legal documents as reflected in this distinct worldview. It seems a fitting acknowledgement, as Queen’s University is located on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.”

This sentiment resonated with the 12 members of the committee who chose the winning entry.

“The representation of wampum in the faculty is representative of the oldest agreements or contracts between not only Indigenous peoples and settlers, but amongst Indigenous peoples as well,” says committee member Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Director of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. “It’s most appropriate given there are wampum agreements between Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, and so this work is representative of both groups of Indigenous peoples acknowledged as the original landholders.”

Ms. Claus is a visual artist of English and Kanien'kehÁ:ka / Mohawk ancestries and a member of the Tyendinaga Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. She teaches contemporary Indigenous art as a sessional lecturer at Kiuna, a First Nations post-secondary institution, in Odanak, Québec, and her artwork has appeared in exhibitions across Canada and the United States, as well as in Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, and Chile.

She is now at work creating “Words that are lasting” with a goal of installing it this fall. Later this summer, Ms. Claus and renowned Indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal, a member of the Indigenous Art Commission selection committee, will jointly record a video that will highlight and explore the themes embodied in her artwork.

Queen’s alumnus chosen as inaugural Sigurdson Professor

Faculty of Law announces Robert Yalden (Artsci'84) will fill the new position created by an endowment supported by alumni and donors.

Robert Yalden (Artsci'84), one of Canada’s foremost corporate lawyers, has been named as the inaugural Stephen Sigurdson Professor in Corporate Law and Finance.

[Robert Yalden]
Robert Yalden (Artsci'84), a nationally-recognized corporate lawyer, joins Queen's Law as its first Sigurdson Professor. (Supplied photo)

This new position commemorates the memory of Stephen Sigurdson (Law’84), one of Canada’s most well-respected corporate lawyers. The $1.5-million endowment to establish a professorship in his name was created through the contributions of alumni and donors.

“As a young lawyer, I had the privilege of working with Steve at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP,” Yalden says. “He was an exceptionally talented role model and a wonderful mentor, and I’m especially pleased to be the first Sigurdson Professor.”

Yalden, who graduated from Queen’s with an Honours BA in 1984 before earning law degrees at the University of Oxford (MA), the University of Toronto (LLB) and l'Université de Montréal (LLB), also served as a law clerk to Justice Bertha Wilson of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1989-90. He brings a wealth of professional experience to the Sigurdson Professorship, having practised law with Osler for more than 25 years. He is a business law partner and head of the Corporate Department in the firm’s Montreal office, as well as the co-chair of Osler’s Mergers and Acquisitions Group, and has served as a member of Osler’s Executive Committee.

He is also no stranger to academia.

“I've taught courses on business law at McGill and U of T and published in the area since the early 1990s,” he says. “The opportunity to be part of a Queen’s Law community that’s thinking and writing about issues in this area day-in and day-out, and to work with talented students and colleagues who have a passion for sustained dialogue about these questions is something that I know will be endlessly rewarding.”

Yalden lauds Dean Bill Flanagan’s efforts to solidify the reputation of Queen’s Law as a leader in business law teaching and scholarship in Canada.

“Creating the Sigurdson Professorship and the Allgood Professorship in Business Law is an incredibly valuable way to build momentum that will continue to propel the Faculty’s business law program to new heights,” Yalden says. “These professorships speak to a desire on the part of the Faculty, as well as its alumni and friends, to ensure that Queen’s Law is an important contributor to dialogue and debate about pressing issues in corporate law and finance. It’s more important than ever to have centres of excellence committed to thinking about an area of law that has a profound impact on significant parts of Canadian society and on our economic and social well-being.”

The Sigurdson Professorship promises to do that and more. As Dean Flanagan notes, it will build on a robust existing business law program that includes not only the Allgood Professorship, but also the Bader International Study Centre program in international business law, the Queen’s Business Law Clinic, and the Law’80 Visiting Scholar in Business Law program.

Providing students with exceptional learning opportunities

The Faculty of Law's Erik Knutsen is the 2018 recipient of the Chancellor A. Charles Baillie Teaching Award.

[Erik Knutsen]
The Faculty of Law's Erik Knutsen is the 2018 recipient of the Chancellor A. Charles Baillie Teaching Award. (Photo by Greg Black)

When Erik Knutsen talks about teaching and learning it quickly becomes clear that he is passionate about the topic.

It’s one of the reasons he re-designed three Faculty of Law core courses.

For this work and his ongoing efforts to foster active learning and student engagement, Professor Knutsen is the 2018 recipient of the Chancellor A. Charles Baillie Teaching Award, which recognizes undergraduate, graduate or professional teaching that has had an outstanding influence on the quality of student learning at Queen’s University.

“Erik Knutsen’s dedication to providing students with exceptional learning opportunities is truly inspiring,” says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “He has purposefully redesigned his courses to ensure that they are engaging, relevant and provide students with the kinds of hands-on experiences and skills they will need in the legal profession. Professor Knutsen is deliberate and purposeful in his use of evidence-based pedagogies and yet he also has the ability to make learning come to life.”

The recognition, he says, is humbling considering the number of exceptional educators across the various faculties and departments at Queen’s. He also says the work wouldn’t have been possible without the “incredible support” he has received from Dean Bill Flanagan, associate deans, fellow faculty members, and Queen’s Law students.

Chancellor A. Charles Baillie Teaching Award recipients:
2017 Catherine Donnelly, School of Rehabilitation Therapy
2016 Jill Atkinson, Department of Psychology
2015 James Fraser, Physics, Physics Engineering and Astronomy
2014 Stephen Lougheed, Biology
2013 Anne Godlewska, Geography
2012 Lindsay Davidson, Surgery
2011 Brian Frank, Electrical and Computer Engineering
2010 Mark Weisberg, Law
2009 Richard Ascough, Theology/Religious Studies
2008 Bill Newstead, Chemistry
2007 Ron Easteal, Anatomy and Cell Biology
2006 John Smol, Biology
2005 Maggie Berg, English
2004 Morris Orzech, Mathematics and Statistics

In nominating Knutsen for the Chancellor A. Charles Baillie Teaching Award, Dean Flanagan pointed to the trailblazing role he has taken in an area of study that has long been resistant to change.

“Erik is on the forefront of rethinking how we can teach law in a way that is more engaging for our students and with better learning outcomes,” Dean Flanagan says. “ He cares deeply about his students’ development and growth, continually finding new and innovative ways to teach them about the law and also professionalism.”

In redesigning three core courses in the Faculty of Law, Knutsen tried to place himself in the position of the students with the end goal of providing them with the skills they need to become a lawyer. He then incorporated as much active learning and student engagement as possible throughout each course to help develop the skills they will need in the workplace.

That meant creating “experiences” for the students.

“So I took all the things I wanted to impart in my courses and thought of them that way, as experiences rather than as didactic learning/information,” he says.

Typically, he divides class time into three sections: a limited period of info delivery; an exercise or group work; and time for feedback to discuss the lessons learned.

Take, for instance, selecting an expert witness in a lawsuit, a key skill for a lawyer but one they are unlikely to experience before actually having to do it.

Traditionally, students would read about some recent cases and discuss it in class. That still happens but under the redesign the students are tasked with selecting an expert witness for a hypothetical case. They are given the CVs of actual expert witnesses and are required to make a selection. Further, they have to defend their expert’s qualifications with relevance to the law and the case and explain why they did not choose the other three experts.

“As a result, the students walk out of there with a totally different experience than had they read some cases about what happened to somebody else and we talked about the rules and reviewed them. They had to apply it and think about why, and it was made to feel real to them,” Knutsen says. “So to me that is taking the learning to a different place. The simple version is I’ve always told my students you have come here to learn as much as you have come here to have an experience.”

This teaching leadership and innovation has extended to other faculties and departments as well, having taught a professional competencies course at the School of Medicine, and contributing to the Faculty of Law’s foundational course for Queen’s Undergraduate students (Law 201: Introduction to Canadian Law).

He is also a founding member of the teaching team for the Masters of Science in Healthcare Quality program, a two-year interdisciplinary blended/online program on patient safety for midcareer healthcare professionals. The program is a joint effort between the School of Nursing, School of Medicine, Faculty of Law, Smith School of Business, School of Policy Studies, and Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In addition to serving on the program design and approval team, Knutsen developed and taught the course Law, Risk and Healthcare.

This work, he says, has been immensely rewarding.

“Best thing I ever did. Getting out of your own world, an academic silo setting, and learning how other disciplines, other professors and other students operate has been absolutely invigorating because it forces you to challenge your own assumptions about your own discipline,” he explains.  “If I meet them halfway and they meet me halfway, it’s fantastic because as much as they are learning about a world that they haven’t seen before, I am learning about how nursing, medicine, and management operate. It’s fascinating and different.”

More information about the Chancellor A. Charles Baillie Teaching Award, including eligibility requirements, is available on the Centre for Teaching and Learning website.

Queen’s Law students raise more than $25,000 for charities

Local and national charities benefit from the ongoing support and efforts of law students.

When they weren’t hitting the books this year, Queen’s Law students hit the rinks, stages, and links to raise over $25,000 for charity.

[Queen's Law Cabaret for a Cure]
The annual Cabaret for a Cure dance and fashion show was one of the highlights of a Queen's Law 2017-18 fundraising year that saw students raising money for charity at a number of events. (Supplied photo)

On March 15, the annual Cabaret for a Cure capped off a year of Queen’s Law Cancer Society (QLCS) fundraising events by raising $17,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. A crowd of more than 400, including guests from the Canadian Cancer Society’s Kingston branch, attended Cabaret at the Grand Theatre in downtown Kingston to see students dance, sing and model in support of cancer research.

“It was incredible to be involved in a group that is not only one of the largest clubs at Queen’s Law but one that captures the attention and compassion of so many students, staff and members of the Kingston community,” said Anu Lalith Kumar (Law’19), one of the co-presidents of the QLCS.

Local businesses donated items for the Cabaret raffle and provided clothes for the fashion shows. The QLCS also auctioned off tickets to Toronto Maple Leafs, Blue Jays and Raptors games. But the most intense bidding was for unique events like dinner with Dean Bill Flanagan and drinks with Professor Nick Bala.

In September the QLCS raised over $5,600 for the CIBC Run for the Cure in support of breast cancer research and in November the club raised $2,756 for the Movember Foundation, a charity focused on funding research in prostate and testicular cancers, supporting men’s mental health and preventing suicide. Some students grew moustaches. Many more were able to join the QLCS at events throughout the month. These included a basketball tournament, a bowling night, a games night at Barcadia and blindfolded attempts to Pin the Mo’ on (a photo of) the dean in the student lounge.

On Sept. 30, staff partnered with students to host the Fall Classic Charity Event at Loyalist Golf and Country Club in Bath. A total of 80 students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends took in the sunshine and sought to Out Drive the Dean at the 10th hole. The event raised $1,500 for Pathways to Education.

“We were excited to offer fun activities throughout the day,” said Heather Cole (Law’96), Assistant Dean of Students. “Our golfers and non-golfers were very generous with their support.”

Law firms and Kingston businesses supported the day on the links with in-kind donations for prizes like Kingston Frontenacs tickets.

The faculty, the Frontenacs, and the Queen’s Law hockey team put on the Winter Classic on Feb. 2 and raised $500 for the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston and Area. More than 100 Queen’s Law community members enjoyed a private pre-game reception in the club lounge and sat together to cheer the Frontenacs as they faced the Oshawa Generals in an OHL matchup.

Lawlapalooza on Valentine’s Day had the Queen’s Law community show its love for the talented musicians in its ranks. The $4,000 raised through Lawlapalooza benefits the aspiring musicians who borrow for free at Joe’s M.I.L.L., a Kingston instrument lending library with over 1,000 instruments.

Queen’s Law has more plans for community outreach, including a summer camp this year on law and leadership for adolescents.

Indigenous alumnus helps right a 133-year-old wrong

A 25-year campaign to exonerate a Cree chief has finally come to its conclusion.

Cree Chief Pîhtokahanapiwiyin (“Poundmaker”) was wrongfully convicted of treason in 1885. (National Archives Canada).

They say the wheels of justice sometimes grind slowly. And sometimes those wheels need help to get moving at all.

Blaine Favel (Law’90), recently saw the truth of those words when a lobbying effort he has championed for more than 25 years finally persuaded the federal government to exonerate Cree Chief Pîhtokahanapiwiyin (“Poundmaker”) from a wrongful 1885 treason conviction.

“Poundmaker was a good man and a good chief who took care of his people. He was unfairly convicted,” says Favel. “[The decision] to set history right is the best news I’ve heard in a long time.”

Poundmaker’s story is one Favel knows well. The CEO of Kanata Earth Management (a Cut Knife, Saskatchewan-based, Indigenous-owned producer of organically grown cannabis), is himself a former chief of the Poundmaker First Nation, a former grand-chief of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, and Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Saskatchewan

“I became aware of Poundmaker’s story when I was growing up, and during my own time as chief, I started working with other members of the Poundmaker First Nation to clear his name.”

In May 1885 in the midst of the Northwest Rebellion, the chief went to Fort Battleford in an unsuccessful effort to convince a government “Indian agent” to provide treaty payments to starving members of the Poundmaker First Nation. However, when the chief and his still-hungry men returned to their reserve, they were pursued by government soldiers intent on exacting revenge for some looting the Cree were wrongly alleged to have committed. On the morning of May 2, the troops launched a sneak attack.

Eight Canadian troops died in the Battle of Cut Knife Hill, and their mates retreated in disarray, but Poundmaker ordered his fighters not to give chase. “They could have wiped out those soldiers the same way Custer was wiped out at Little Bighorn in 1876, but the chief said no,” Favel says. “Poundmaker never wanted war. He was a peacemaker.”  

Poundmaker was convicted of treason and went to prison for three years. However, when he contracted tuberculosis while behind bars, he was released after a year. He died four months later. Members of the Poundmaker First Nation never forgot or forgave that injustice.

[Blaine Favel]
Blaine Favel (Law'90). (Supplied Photo)

When the Trudeau government prioritized reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous people, Favel and other members of the Poundmaker First Nation doubled down in their efforts to win exoneration for the chief. An online petition drew more than 4,500 signatures, and Favel and fellow First Nations leaders lobbied politicians. Their efforts paid off earlier this year when at long last Poundmaker was exonerated. 

Favel regards the move as a vital first step toward a comprehensive reparations agreement between Ottawa and the Poundmaker First Nation. He hopes a formal apology also will be part of any final agreement. “The government’s decision should be viewed as an act of literal reconciliation and nation-building,” Favel says. “This is our common history, and so we should embrace Chief Poundmaker as a great Canadian.”

Learn more about Pîhtokahanapiwiyin's story and the exoneration in this CBC Radio news coverage.

Honorary degrees for spring ceremonies

The presentation of honorary degrees is one of the many traditions of convocation. This spring, seven recipients will be honored during the ceremonies. All recipients were selected by Queen’s community members for their contributions to the local community, Canadian society, or the world.

The honorary degree recipients this year include:

Phil Gold, Doctor of Science DSc

[Phil Gold]
Phil Gold

Ceremony 2: Thursday, May 24 at 2:30 pm

Phil Gold is the Executive Director of the Clinical Research Centre of the McGill University Health Centre at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH) and the Douglas G. Cameron Professor of Medicine and Professor of Physiology and Oncology at McGill University. He has served as the Inaugural Director of the Goodman Cancer Centre, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at McGill, and Physician-in-Chief at the MGH.

Dr. Gold’s early research led to the discovery and definition of the Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA), and the subsequent CEA blood test. In 2006, the Phil Gold Chair in Medicine was inaugurated at McGill University. Dr. Gold was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2010, and also received the Life Time Achievement Award from McGill University and the inaugural McGill University Faculty of Medicine Global Achievement Award in 2011.

Dr. Gold has received national and international recognition throughout his career, including the Gairdner Foundation Annual International Award (1978), Medizinische Hochschule, Germany (1978), the Johann-Georg-Zimmerman Prize for Cancer Research (1978), the Isaak Walton Killam Award in Medicine of the Canada Council (1985), the National Cancer Institute of Canada R.M. Taylor Medal (1992), the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal (2002), and many other accolades, including honorary degrees from a number of universities.

Isabel Bassett, Doctor of Laws LLD

[Isabel Bassett]
Isabel Bassett

Ceremony 5: Friday, May 25 at 4 pm.

Professionally, Isabel Bassett was Chair and CEO of TVOntario, MPP and Minister of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation for the Ontario Government, and host and producer of award winning documentaries on CFTO TV, which focused on social issues such as sexual abuse, mental health, and teen gangs.

Now retired, Ms. Bassett is a facilitator using her know-how and connections to work for gender parity. She advocates to get young people more involved in politics and for more diversity on boards and in senior management positions. She is now adding her voice in support of the McMichael Gallery to awaken the public to Canada's little known treasure house of Canadian Art.

Indira Samarasekera, Doctor of Science DSc

[Indira Samarasekera]
Indira Samarasekera

Ceremony 12: Thursday, May 31 at 4 pm

Indira Samarasekera served as the twelfth President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Alberta from 2005 to 2015. She also served as Vice-President (Research) at the University of British Columbia from 2000 to 2005. She is currently a Senior Advisor for Bennett Jones LLP and serves on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Nova Scotia, Magna International, and TransCanada. Dr. Samarasekera was appointed by the Prime Minister to serve as a Federal Member to the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments until 2017.

Dr. Samarasekera is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s leading metallurgical engineers for her ground-breaking work on process engineering of materials, especially steel processing. Dr. Samarasekera was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002 for outstanding contributions to steel process engineering. In 2014, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in the US, the profession’s highest honour.

As a Hays Fulbright Scholar, she earned an MSc from the University of California in 1976 and a PhD in metallurgical engineering from the University of British Columbia in 1980. She has received honorary degrees from the Universities of British Columbia, Toronto, Waterloo, Montreal, and from Western University in Canada, as well as Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland.

Valerie Tarasuk, Doctor of Science DSc

[Valerie Tarasuk]
Valerie Tarasuk

Ceremony 13: Friday, June 1 at 10 am

Valerie Tarasuk is a professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Tarasuk’s research includes Canadian food policy and population-level dietary assessment, but much of her career has focused on income-related problems of food access in Canada. She played a pivotal role in the implementation of food insecurity monitoring in Canada and has helped spearhead efforts to use monitoring data to inform programming and policy decisions. Dr. Tarasuk has led PROOF, an interdisciplinary research program investigating household insecurity in Canada, since 2011. In 2017, Dr. Tarasuk was honored by the Canadian Nutrition Society with the Earle Willard McHenry Award for Distinguished Service in Nutrition.

John Baird, Doctor of Law LLD

[John Baird]
John Baird

Ceremony 14: Friday, June 1 at 2:30 pm

John Baird served as a senior cabinet minister in the Government of Canada. Mr. Baird spent three terms as a Member of Parliament and four years as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also served as President of the Treasury Board, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. In 2010, he was selected by MPs from all parties as Parliamentarian of the Year. He is currently a Senior Business Advisor with Bennett Jones LLP.

An instrumental figure in bilateral trade and investment relationships, Mr. Baird has played a leading role in the Canada-China dialogue and worked to build ties with Southeast Asian nations.

Mr. Baird holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies from Queen’s. He volunteers his time with Community Living Ontario, the Prince's Charities, and is a board member of the Friends of Israel Initiative.

Hugh Segal, Doctor of Law LLD

[Hugh Segal]
Hugh Segal

Ceremony 15: Monday, June 4 at 10 am

Now the fifth elected Principal of Massey College and a strategic advisor at the law firm of Aird and Berlis, LLP, Hugh Segal has spent his career in such public service roles as the Associate Cabinet Secretary (Federal-Provincial Affairs) in Ontario and the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister.  In Ontario, he was involved in the negotiations to patriate the Canadian constitution and create the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Mr. Segal chaired the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Special Senate Committee on Anti-Terrorism between 2005 and 2014.  He served as Canada's Special Envoy to the Commonwealth and a member of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group on reform and modernization, human rights, and rule of law.

A former President of the Institute for Research on Public Policy in Montreal, a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Global Affairs, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Munk School of Global Affairs, the Queen's School of Policy Studies, and the Smith School of Business at Queen's, Mr. Segal holds honorary doctorates from the Royal Military College of Canada and the University of Ottawa.

Douglas Cardinal, Doctor of Law LLD

[Douglas Cardinal]
Douglas Cardinal

Ceremony 21: Wednesday, June 6 at 2:30 pm

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Douglas Cardinal's architectural studies at The University of British Columbia took him to Austin, Texas, where he achieved his architectural degree and found his passion for human rights initiatives. Mr. Cardinal has become a forerunner of philosophies of sustainability, green buildings, and ecologically designed community planning.

Mr. Cardinal has received many national and international awards, including 20 Honorary Doctorates, Gold Medals of Architecture in Canada and Russia, and an award from the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for best sustainable village. He was also titled an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the most prestigious awards that can be given to a Canadian, and he was awarded the declaration of “World Master of Contemporary Architecture” by the International Association of Architects.

Proposals for reconciliation

Three Indigenous artists presented art proposals Monday as part of a project to bring First Nations art into the Faculty of Law atrium.

  • Ms. Claus showcases her proposal at Monday's open house. It consists of wampum belts made of translucent purple coloured and frosted clear acrylic sheets and hung vertically from the ceiling. (University Communications)
    Ms. Claus showcases her proposal at Monday's open house. It consists of wampum belts made of translucent purple coloured and frosted clear acrylic sheets and hung vertically from the ceiling. (University Communications)
  • Ms. Claus' proposal is entitled “words that are lasting”. Wampum belts are mnemonic aids utilized by the Haudenosaunee and other Indigenous peoples within oral nation to nation agreements. (University Communications)
    Ms. Claus' proposal is entitled “words that are lasting”. Wampum belts are mnemonic aids utilized by the Haudenosaunee and other Indigenous peoples within oral nation to nation agreements. (University Communications)
  • Rebecca Baird’s proposal is entitled “Kihewataniy” (“eagle feather” in Cree). The eagle's feather is honored by Indigenous peoples, and is a symbol of truth, power and freedom. It has been included as part of the reconciliation initiative and has been established as a legal oath-swearing option in the courts of Canada. (University Communications)
    Rebecca Baird’s proposal is entitled “Kihewataniy” (“eagle feather” in Cree). The eagle's feather is honored by Indigenous peoples, and is a symbol of truth, power and freedom. It has been included as part of the reconciliation initiative and has been established as a legal oath-swearing option in the courts of Canada. (University Communications)
  • Ms. Baird speaks to visitors at Monday's open house. If her proposal is successful, the feather she has designed would be suspended in the air above the Gowlings Atrium. (University Communications)
    Ms. Baird speaks to visitors at Monday's open house. If her proposal is successful, the feather she has designed would be suspended in the air above the Gowlings Atrium. (University Communications)
  • Wally Dion’s proposal is entitled “It will put your mind at ease, that we still remember these words.” The art piece consists of three large wampum belts suspended vertically from the wall with three smaller belts woven between them. (University Communications)
    Wally Dion’s proposal is entitled “It will put your mind at ease, that we still remember these words.” The art piece consists of three large wampum belts suspended vertically from the wall with three smaller belts woven between them. (University Communications)
  • Mr. Dion speaks to Norman Vorano, Curator of Indigenous Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, about his proposal at an afternoon reception. (University Communications)
    Mr. Dion speaks to Norman Vorano, Curator of Indigenous Art at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, about his proposal at an afternoon reception. (University Communications)
  • Bill Flanagan, Dean of the Faculty of Law, and Douglas Cardinal, renowned architect and member of the Queen's Faculty of Law Indigenous Art Commission, examine the proposals. (University Communications)
    Bill Flanagan, Dean of the Faculty of Law, and Douglas Cardinal, renowned architect and member of the Queen's Faculty of Law Indigenous Art Commission, examine the proposals. (University Communications)

When visitors pass through the Faculty of Law atrium this fall, they will see the faculty’s commitment to reconciliation writ large. A piece of art will be installed to help increase the visibility of Indigenous art and culture, promote the recognition of Indigenous territory on campus, and create a welcoming space for Indigenous Peoples.

The question remains: will the art take the form of an eagle feather, or of wampum belts?

The Story So Far
Indigenous art to appear in Law atrium - Sept 20, 2017
Queen’s Law reveals shortlisted proposals for Indigenous Art Commission - Mar 1, 2018
● The successful artist will be named by the end of March.
● The art will be installed this fall.

As a committee evaluates the three options they have received in response to their recent request for proposals, the artists had a chance Monday to make their case directly to the Queen’s community.

Artists Wally Dion, Rebecca Baird, and Hannah Claus were on campus to demonstrate their ideas during an open house and a public reception. Mr. Dion’s and Ms. Claus’ ideas involve installing large vertical wampum belts in the Gowling WLG Atrium, while Ms. Baird has suggested suspending a large feather from the rafters.

The purpose of Monday’s events was to solicit comments from the Queen’s community regarding the proposals via an online survey. The comments will inform the committee’s final decision, which will be revealed later this month.

“Thank you to everyone who came out to our two public events, and to those who have taken the time to register their comments,” says Dean Bill Flanagan, chair of the committee. “This project will help our faculty contribute to the important cause of reconciliation in Canada, with the inclusion of a prominent work of Indigenous art that reflects historical and contemporary issues relevant to Indigenous Peoples and law.”

The goal is to complete the art installation this fall. For more information, visit the Faculty of Law Indigenous Art Commission webpage.


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