Faculty of Education

Faculty of Education
Faculty of Education

ATEP Statement on the Vandalization of Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ Flags at Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre

July 1, 2020

On Tuesday, June 30, the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) was informed that the Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ flags that hung proudly at Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre had been vandalized. These flags were hung in response to the previous racist and homophobic incident that occurred in a residence on campus last fall. This act of vandalism is not only cowardly but is racist, homophobic, discriminatory, and bigoted.

These acts serve as a reminder of the ways in which the safety and well-being of our Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ communities are challenged and threatened within our University. It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I write this statement condemning the ongoing acts of hate and settler colonialism that target our communities, land, and spaces.

Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre stands proudly as the heart of our community that brings together students, faculty, and staff from across concentrations to gather and celebrate who they are. It is a place where Indigenous students can safely connect and participate in cultural learning that connects them to their identity and their home communities and teachings. To those who attend Four Directions’ gatherings, feasts, ceremonies, circles, etc. it is not just a building to gather in, it is a home. It brings me great anger and disgust to think that someone or a group of people would bring harm to someone’s home.

The community at ATEP stands strong with our relations at Four Directions and within the wider Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ community. To settlers within the Queen’s community, we call on you to take up the work of decolonization and anti-racism. We all have a responsibility to hold others accountable for their actions and to stand up against the ongoing marginalization and oppression of our Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ community.

Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ communities have and continue to be resilient, proud, and courageous groups that stand together and support each other against oppression, strengthening our resolve to work against adversity. We will not allow these hateful acts to fill our hearts with hatred.  We will maintain our resilience by continuing to approach others with kindness, the way our ancestors taught us.

To those who are directly affected and feeling the weight of this act, I want you to know that we continue to support and care for you. The ATEP office continues to work remotely to support students academically and our elder in residence is also available for cultural, spiritual and emotional guidance.

Beyond statements of solidarity, we must work together to make tangible and systemic change.

Konnorónhkhwa,

Aboriginal Teacher Education Program Manager

 

For settler allies or others looking to do decolonial and anti-racist work, here are some resources to help educate yourselves:

Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada by Emma Battell Lowman and Adam J Barker

The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King

Laurentian University’s “How to be an Ally” website

White Privilege: unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh

Indigenous Ally Toolkit by Dakota Swiftwolfe

Allyship Resource Bundle by Anika Richard and Danae Heaman

Queen’s University Human Rights and Equity Office, Showing-Up for Anti-Racism and Inclusion – Part 1 & 2 Training, Positive Space Training, Understanding Gender Identity and Gender Diversity Training, and This is Canada: Living Anti-Racism Training

Webinar: Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Education hosted by The Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies (CIARS) and the Centre for Leadership and Diversity (CLD) on “Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Education,” with QSEC Program Chair Dr. Andrew B. Campbell, Drs. Njoki Wane, George Dei, Ann Lopez, and Lance McCready, and moderator Janelle Brady.