The Office of Indigenous Initiatives (OII) was created through a recommendation of
Queen’s 2017 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Task Force Final Report.
310 Richardson Hall
74 University Ave.
Queen’s University at Kingston
Kingston ON K7L 3N6
613-533-6000 ext. 79168
Kanonhsyonne - Janice Hill
Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation)
Kanonhsyonne (Jan) leads the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, providing strategic support and leadership university-wide to oversee the implementation from the Queen's TRC Task Force Report recommendations. Jan is Turtle Clan, a Clan Mother of the Mohawk Nation from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. She began her academic career as an adjunct faculty member in the Faculty of Education and went on to help establish the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program, serving as Academic Co-Director for the program in 1997-98.
Jan is in the process of completing her Master of Arts in Gender Studies at Queen’s. Jan served as Director of the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre for 7 years prior to being appointed as the Director of Indigenous Initiatives and most recently the Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation) .
Sharon will provide strategic and operational leadership to the OII, with accountability for supporting the implementation of the recommendations of the Yakwanastahenteha Aankenjigemi, Extending the Rafters Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Task Force Final Report at Queen’s. As the third generation in her family to attend residential school, she is particularly passionate about working towards reconciliation.
Sharon joins the OII with extensive management and leadership experience having worked with government, non-profit and Indigenous organizations across Canada and internationally. She has gained valuable experience working with a complex array of stakeholders, often in cross-cultural environments where language and cultural ways play a role in good relations. Most recently, Sharon served as the Program Lead for Indigenous Health at the Canadian Institute of Health Information in Ottawa where she led the development of organizational cultural responsiveness and was instrumental in the planning and implementation of an emerging Indigenous health strategy.
Zhaawnoonanong - Haley Cochrane
Project and Communications Coordinator
Zhaawnoonanong (Haley) is responsible for the project management and communications for the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Haley is Bear Clan, Algonquin of Pikwakanagan First Nation. She is a mother, sister and auntie.
Haley is in the process of completing her Master of Public Administration at Queen’s with a specialization in Indigenous Governance and Policy. She previously served as the Indigenous Recruiter for another university, and prior to that she worked in the not-for-profit and private sectors specializing in policy, human resources and events with a strong focus on diversity and inclusion.
Elder in Residence
Wendy is one of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives' Elders, she shares teachings, facilitates circles and provides support & guidance to the broader Queen's community. Wendy is of the Bald Eagle Clan; She is Potawatomi and Ojibwa and a proud member of Wasauksing First Nation in the heart of the Muskokas. Wendy provides support to students, staff and faculty at Queen's. She is a keeper of the 8th Fire Prophecies, Keeper of the Ancient Thunderbird Calendar, Ceremonial Leader, Spiritual Educator, Cultural Innovator and Traditional Indigenous Healer. Wendy is a lifelong educator, advocate and supports Traditional Indigenous Ways of Knowing; devoted to improving the quality of life for the next seven generations.
Wendy is a Masters Candidate in the School of Environmental Studies with York University; she is a graduate of Trent University with an Honors degree in Indigenous Studies with a Minor in Business Administration; She has also graduated from Fleming College with a Diploma in Career and Work Counselling and George Brown College with a Certificate in Life Skills Coaching. In 2018, Wendy was awarded the Community Medal for Scarborough/Guildwood from M.P John McKay and she was also a recipient for the Remarkable Woman Award.
Te Howist Kwunt - Allen Doxtator
Te Howist Kwunt (Al) provides support to students, staff and faculty university-wide. Al is available for one on one meetings, workshop facilitation and presentations. Al is Oneida from Oneida First Nation of the Thames near London, Ontario. He is a member of the Bear Clan. Al bring more than 45 years of experience as a social worker to his role at Queen’s.
Amy Brant is from the Mohawk Nation at Kenhté:ke. She is a graduate of the Justice Studies (Paralegal) Program at Loyalist College and is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Indigenous studies at Queens University. She has been passionate about the story of her community from a young age and has great concern for the rights and interests of Indigenous people. Most recently, Amy has been working on developing an Indigenous Awareness Certificate as well as delivering the land acknowledgment workshop.
She has been a lifelong leaner of the history of Kenhté:ke and has chosen to pursue this as a career. For 8 years, Amy worked in Research for the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte. During this time, she gained valued experience in historical research and First Nations administration and policy.