Queen's University

Tour offers insight into plight of Aboriginal community


Students will have an opportunity to meet youth and community leaders from a northern Ontario First Nation community next week and learn about the impact of substandard living conditions for Aboriginal people.

“In their course on social justice, teacher candidates discuss Third World issues. It’s not often they have the chance to see and learn about similar conditions and circumstances in their own backyard,” says Kate Freeman, Interim Director, Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) in the Faculty of Education. “The Third World Canada Tour offers important educational opportunities for teacher candidates and other Queen’s students.”

The documentary 3rd World Canada, which is the focal point of the outreach tour, tells the story of three children from the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) First Nation who lost their parents to suicide and struggle to live in rundown homes. The outreach campaign aims to build relationships between First Nations and non-First Nations to close the gap in living conditions.

A panel discussion with KI community leaders and film participants will occur following the screening of the documentary at Duncan McArthur Hall. Students will have a chance to ask questions and explore ways they can make a difference. An interactive home built with the help of Domino Theatre personnel and youth from the Kingston community will provide a glimpse into the living conditions in the remote Aboriginal community and give greater context to the scenes in the film.

“Awareness of these issues is the first step in bringing about change,” says Vanessa McCourt, Aboriginal Advisor, Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre (FDASC). “We are honoured that Andrée Cazabon, the film’s director, has agreed to meet with students to share her experiences working with the KI community.”

Other activities planned during the visit include a performance by the KI youth drum group, Waking Spirit Singers, and a lunch at FDASC. The activities at Queen’s on November 14 are part of a three-day tour stop in Kingston. Visit the 3rd World Canada website for complete details.

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Last updated at 5:55 am EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
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