Aboriginal students honoured at convocations
Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre (FDASC), on behalf of the university, the Aboriginal Council of Queen’s University (ACQU) and the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, is presenting graduating Aboriginal students with special gifts during their convocation ceremonies.
“We wanted to acknowledge and honour the accomplishments of Aboriginal students at Queen’s,” says Janice Hill, Director, FDASC. “With high school and university graduation rates much lower among Aboriginal people, we’re recognizing these students as potential role models for young Aboriginal students coming after them.”
Ms Hill and FDASC staff members present the Aboriginal graduates with a Pendleton blanket. FDASC selected the turtle design because the animal plays a role in many Aboriginal cultures, representing Mother Earth/Turtle Island. Following convocation the Aboriginal graduates are invited back to FDASC to put their handprint on the centre's canvass along with their name, program, year of graduation and community, leaving their mark on Queen’s.
Along with Principal Daniel Woolf and representatives of ACQU, FDASC will welcome Assembly of First Nations Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo when he receives an honorary degree from Queen’s on Friday, June 15. Nathan Brinklow from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory will offer the Thanksgiving Address in the Mohawk language to open convocation. The High Rock Singers will perform the honour song and Leslie St. Pierre will offer the closing prayer. Marlene Brant Castellano, the elder and incoming co-chair of the ACQU, will gift National Chief Atleo following the morning convocation.