Queen's University and the Aboriginal Council are dedicated to working in partnership to improve the educational experience for everyone. Aboriginal peoples have distinctive educational needs. The Council strongly believes that improving Aboriginal peoples' access to and experience with higher education at Queen's University will promote the kind of diversity that enriches the Queen's community and enhances the educational experience for Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people.
The Council has a collective responsibility to represent the needs and interests of the Aboriginal communities. The Aboriginal Council is mandated to be involved in all decisions affecting Aboriginal programs and services at Queen's University.
In the spirit of cooperation, the Council, which is made up of representatives from Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal organizations, and Queen's University, seeks to enhance the partnership with the broader Queen's community and the Aboriginal communities to make Queen's University one of the national leaders in Aboriginal programs and services in postsecondary education. To do so, it will address the needs of Aboriginals in the following areas:
Identify and promote alternative methods of program delivery for Aboriginal students enrolled at Queen's, including those in community-based programs.
Foster linkages and agreements with institutions that have a high number of Aboriginal students.
Develop processes for recognizing credits through transfer from community colleges and Aboriginal Institutions.
Continue to assist and support the Aboriginal Teacher Education Programs, and develop new programs that will serve Aboriginal students in their own communities.
Participate in and facilitate curriculum development initiatives, including:
- maintaining the Council as a resource for program and/or course development and evaluation;
- promoting the inclusion of Aboriginal values, perspectives, thought processes, practices, and protocols in all Faculties and programs; and
- developing a Special Field Concentration in Native Studies, using the two existing half courses in Native Studies along with relevant existing courses and additional new courses.
Maintain and develop symposia and workshops, such as the Annual Native Studies Symposium, Aboriginal Awareness Day, and other cultural gatherings, and facilitate visits to Queen's by Aboriginal elders, academics, artists, musicians, film-makers, etc. The purpose is to promote access to these events for Aboriginal students and the Aboriginal communities, and create more opportunities for the academic community to be exposed to Aboriginal thought and culture.
Promote and support campus-wide understanding of and openness to Aboriginal research and the work of Aboriginal researchers.
Promote sensitive and responsible research by, for example, encouraging the funding of Aboriginal research by funding agencies, and by obtaining representation by members of the Aboriginal Council on ethics review boards and membership on committees evaluating projects undertaken by members of the Queen's community that include or affect Aboriginal people.
Increase the number of Aboriginal students at Queen's, and enhance Aboriginal student enrollment in all programs and Faculties.
Increase outreach to Aboriginal communities and recruitment of Aboriginal students.
Develop better access to Queen's University for Aboriginal students (including mature students and single parents), through participation in orientation planning, and facilitating the development of a pre-entry program for Aboriginal students who need additional support for academic and "learning environment" adaptation.
Support the creation in every Faculty of admissions policies and places for Aboriginal students (following the examples in Medicine and Nursing).
Work toward the establishment of additional general and program-specific scholarships and bursaries for Aboriginal students at Queen's.
Develop and promote ways to enable staff in the Queen's Awards Office to better meet Aboriginal students' needs and provide information on sources of financial support.
Improve Aboriginal students' access to the Aboriginal communities, traditions, ways of knowing, cultures, and Elders, including maintaining an Elder or Traditional Aboriginal Person in Residence on the Main Campus and on the West Campus.
Establish peer tutoring program(s) for Aboriginal Students at Queen's.
Work to increase counseling for Aboriginal students.
Faculty and Staff
Advocate for increasing the numbers of Aboriginal faculty and staff at Queen's University.
Initiate and promote new and ongoing programs to recruit, support, and retain Aboriginal faculty and staff at Queen's.
Develop and facilitate initiatives to provide professional development opportunities for Queen's faculty and staff concerning Aboriginal issues, and Aboriginal learning and teaching styles.
Support and develop Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, fully integrating it into the Queen's University community.
Identify ways of extending an Aboriginal presence on Queen's campus and facilitate their implementation, including the possibility of establishing an outdoor Native Meditation Site on Queen's grounds.
Find ways to provide affordable and accessible housing for Aboriginal students at Queen's.
Environment and Relationships
Establish and support relationships with and participation in community-based organizations and the broader Aboriginal communities, both urban and non-urban, in the Kingston area as well as provincially, nationally, and internationally.
Communicate throughout the Queen's community the Council's mandate, action plan, membership, activities, and availability as a resource to faculty, staff and students.
Establish processes for the participation of Council in decisions that affect Aboriginal peoples, programs, and services at Queen's.
Establish relationships with other processes and offices on campus, including all the University equity offices and all the academic Faculties.
Undertake initiatives to increase the number of Aboriginal community representatives on various decision-making bodies at Queen's, including the Queen's Board and Senate.
Identify possible sources for and make recommendations concerning fundraising for Aboriginal initiatives on campus.