In 2016-17, Mount Allison celebrated the Year of Indigenous Knowing at Mount Allison.
A number of events, activities, and initiatives took place throughout the year, including those listed below.
New opportunities and supports for Indigenous students
Indigenous affairs co-ordinator
Doreen Richard (’96) joined Mount Allison in 2015-16 to serve as the University’s first Indigenous affairs co-ordinator
Chris Metallic Prize in Indigenous Leadership
Named in honour of former Mount Allison student Chris Metallic, this prize was established to encourage and reward leadership on campus by one Indigenous student each year.
Indigenization of the curriculum
Introduction to Indigenous Studies course
Launched in the fall 2016 term, the course introduced key topics in Indigenous history, culture, and social, political, and environmental concerns. It consisted of three four-week modules in history, Canadian studies, and geography and environmental studies, plus a weekly experiential component.
Indigenous Literature Community Reading
All first year residence students received a free copy of Three Day Road by author Joseph Boyden. Students had the opportunity to discuss the book with the author and other members of the Mount Allison community at a reception on Oct. 3.
Indigenous Studies — Program Advisory Group
The group's goal was to help guide the exploration of how Indigenous learning can be integrated into current Mount Allison course offerings.
Indigenous Gathering Space – Mawita’mkw (a place where we can gather)
Opened in September 2016 in the Wallace McCain Student Centre (Room 130), this designated space serves as a learning and gathering space for Indigenous students and community members.
Elder Gilbert Sewell, from Pabineau First Nation in New Brunswick, became Mount Allison’s first elder-in-residence.
President’s Speakers Series
The President's Speakers Series brought four noted guests to campus, each covering a different aspect of the Indigenous experience, including writers Lee Maracle and Joseph Boyden as well as professor Marie Battiste and Francyne Joe, Interim President of the Native Women's Association of Canada.
Events during the Year of Indigenous Knowing 2016-17
Sept. 1 — University commencement address by Graydon Nicholas (LLD ’10), former lieutenant-governor of New Brunswick, attorney, judge, and politician
Sept. 15 — Canada Council Reading by Anishnaabe poet Armand Garnet Ruffo
Sept. 16 — Canada Council Reading by Lee Maracle, Sto:lo poet, novelist, and essayist, part of the President’s Speakers Series
Sept. 29 — Official opening of new Indigenous Gathering Space, Mawita’mkw, and Treaty Day flag raising
Oct. 3 — President’s Speakers Series, reading by Anishnaabe novelist Joseph Boyden, author of Three Day Road and The Orenda
Oct. 6 — Talk with Métis curator, artist, and writer David Garneau
Oct. 11 — There are No Closets in Tipis, lecture by Jack Saddleback, University of Saskatchewan Student Union President
Oct. 19 — Reading by Rebecca Thomas, Mi’kmaq Spoken Word Artist and Halifax Poet Laureate
Oct. 21 — pihtonikewin — a presentation by artists Breanna Little, Niki Little, and Becca Taylor
Oct. 24 — President’s Speakers Series, Decolonizing education in the path of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by Dr. Marie Battiste, University of Saskatchewan
Nov. 22 — Empowerment, Resilience, and Success with Waneek Horn-Miller, a Mohawk from the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory near Montreal, who was behind the lines during the Oka crisis in 1990
Jan. 24 — President's Speakers Series, Francyne Joe, Interim President of the Native Women's Association of Canada
Feb. 15 — Savvy Simon, Mi'kmaq language advocate and member of the Elsipogtog First Nation
May 2-3 — Indigenous Day of Action and Reflection — a one-day workshop on indigenization at Mount Allison, featuring guest speakers, panels, and an interactive session on indigenizing and decolonizing the curriculum