Human Rights and Equity Office

Human Rights and Equity Office
Human Rights and Equity Office

Every March, from now on, we would like to center our attention on March 21: The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

For this reason, we decided to launch the campaign “21 Days of Inspiration for March 21”! For 21 days on our website and social media, our office will post 21 pieces meant to inspire and strengthen communities in the struggle against racism and other forms of oppression. The theme for this 2020 is Recognizing and Valuing Indigenous Voices.

Day 1
Our first quote is written by Daniel Heath Justice in his book “Why Indigenous Literatures Matter”:
“According to the settler stories of Indigenous deficiency, our people were supposed to vanish into the sunset long ago…
In spite of all their hopes and ambitions, policies and practices, laws and customs, and assaults and editorials, our people are still here, as are our relations, as are our stories. In fact, our stories have been integral to that survival…They are good medicine. They remind us about who we are and where we’re going, on our own and in relation to those with whom we share this world. They remind us about the relationships that make a good life possible. In short, they matter.”

To learn more about the history of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, please visit:…/racialdiscriminationd…/background.shtml

Daniel Heath Justice quote

Day 2

Today we share a quote from Art Solomon’s book "Songs for the People: Teachings on the Natural Way" that describes Aboriginal society prior to the arrival of Europeans: “We were not perfect, but we had no jails, we had no taxes…no wine and no beer, no old peoples’ homes, no children’s aid society, we had no crisis centres. We had a philosophy of life based on the Creator. We had our humanity.”

Source: Indspire

Art Solomon’s quote

Day 3

”Cowboy Smithx is an Award Winning filmmaker of Blackfoot Ancestry from the Piikani and Kainai tribes of Southern Alberta, Canada. Cowboy is the founder and curator of the highly acclaimed International Indigenous speaker series “REDx Talks.”

Check out his introductory talk titled “Resilience, Empowerment, Discourse and a silent ‘x.”

Day 4

Today we would like to share an initiative created by Indspire called Four Directions First Nations, Métis and Inuit Graduation Coach Approach, which is a "system that provides intensive support to Indigenous students and their families with the goal of seeing each student through to graduation and transition into their desired post-secondary programs."

Read more about it here: 

Day 5
Queen's Celebrates New Indigenous Provost
“My Mohawk name, Rahswhérha, means ‘he builds a bridge’, inspired by the fact that I’ve spent my career in civil engineering. In interacting more widely with our campus community, I have been reflecting upon its broader meaning; that bridges are ultimately about connecting people. These are the bridges I hope to help build in my new role,” said Provost
Mark Green. 

Day 6

Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre Director, Kandice Baptiste, has shared with us two images that speak to Kanyen’keha:ka generational resilience and brilliance!

The first one is a photo of her grandparents dancing that has been illustrated by the Oneida artist Monique Aura Bedard. The second photo shows Kandice and her grandma on her kindergarten graduation.

Thank you, Kandice, for sharing these inspiring memories with us!

Kandice Baptiste photo 1

Kandice Baptiste photo 2

Day 7
Take a look at the excellent resources created by RESEAU autochtone de Montréal - Montreal Aboriginal NETWORK. This network is “led by, owned by, and for the Indigenous community'

If you are interested in reading the Cultural Manual, the Indigenous Ally Toolkit, or the Reference Guide, please visit:

Day 8

Today we remember Hon. Senator Murray Sinclair's words: ‎"Education has gotten us into this mess, and education will get us out"

Hon. Senator Murray Sinclair's quote

Day 9

Today we share this beautiful Linda Hogan quote, from Dwellings, A Spiritual History of the Living World: “Walking. I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”

Linda Hogan quote

Day 10

Today we want to highlight the work that Cheekbone Beauty is doing! They are an “Indigenous owned and founded, digitally-native, Canadian cosmetics company established in 2016 by Jennifer Harper. Based out of St. Catharines, Ontario, Cheekbone Beauty is known for creating high quality, cruelty-free beauty products.”

Cheekbone Beauty Instagram Image 1

Cheekbone Beauty Instagram Image 2

Cheekbone Beauty Instagram Image 3

Day 11

Hannah Tosello is an Indigenous student on campus that has shared with us this powerful poem written by another Queen’s student, Courtney Wynn.

In Hannah’s words: “As an Indigenous woman, I am tired and exhausted having to stand up and fight for my people, fight for basic human rights and fight for our sovereignty, especially now more than ever. I want people to see us as human beings, respect that we are the original inhabitants of Turtle Island and that this is our land. Courtney's poem made me stand a little taller when I read it and reminded me of why we continue to fight. It helped me remember that despite everything my relations and I continue to go through and continue to fight for, we have our ancestors guiding us and giving us strength each and every day.”

Thank you, Hannah, for sharing this piece that speaks to resilience and justice.

Courtney Wynn's poem

Day 12

Amplifying Indigenous initiatives!

Join the Queen's Native Student Association - QNSA for an interactive KAIROS Blanket Exercise that will increase our understanding of the history between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

When: Today! March 12, 2020 at 1:30 pm
Where: Agnes Benedickson Field

Queen's Native Student Association event poster

Day 13

"It is not happenstance or luck that Indigenous people and our lands still exist after centuries of attack. This is our strategic brilliance. Our presence is our weapon, and this is visible to me at every protest, every mobilization, every time a Two Spirit person gifts us with a dance at our powwows, every time we speak our truths, every time we embody Indigenous life."

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, from As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson quote

Day 14

"Marilyn Jensen is a vibrant and powerful speaker addressing major current themes and areas pertinent and relevant to Indigenous people in Canada and elsewhere. Her passion lies within reclamation and revitalization of ceremony, songs, culture and everything foundational to her identity but which was stolen and displaced.”

Day 15

Today we share a powerful quote by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, from As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance.

"This is the intense love of land, of family, and of our nations that has always been the spine of Indigenous resistance. The fact that I am here today is a miracle, because it means my family, like every Indigenous family, did whatever they could to ensure that I survived the past four hundred years of violence. For my kobade to survive and flourish the next four hundred years, we need to join together in a rebellion of love, persistence, commitment and profound caring and create constellations of coresistance working together toward a radical alternative present based on deep reciprocity and the gorgeous generative refusal of colonial recognition."

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson quote

Day 16

In our March blog, Vanessa McCourt, Kaienkehaka (Mohawk) from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and Academic Advisor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator, talks about the importance of having courageous conversations

Day 17

Meet Celeigh Cardinal: "People relate to my songwriting because I'm very literal," Cardinal said. "One of the songs on the album is called I Don't Want to Know You Anymore, and that's what the whole song is about."

Day 18

During the COVID-19 crisis, Indigenous educators are stepping up and helping the community by amplifying Indigenous knowledge!

Day 19

Today we want to share the artwork created by Mia Ohki, a Métis-Japanese-Canadian artist that creates simple line work drawings.

These pieces were selected by Taylor Tye, a third-year undergraduate anishinaabekwe student. In Taylor’s words: “I hope these images might help uplift others to think of our connectedness with each other, the plant and animal nations, our relationship with water and our Mother Earth. Even amidst this disorienting time, may we feel grounded in all our relations.”

Thank you, Taylor, for sharing these beautiful images!

Mia Ohki image 1

Mia Ohki image 2

Day 20

"Our great blossoming is coming and we will bloom bright, extraordinary, and the world will witness our unfolding."

Lee Maracle, from I Am Woman

Lee Maracle quote

Day 21

For the final day of our campaign, we invite you to learn more about the story of Autumn Peltier. "Despite her youth, Peltier is already a veteran activist when it comes to the issue of clean drinking water — not just in First Nations communities, but across the country.

Autumn Peltier quote