A new Indigenous Space on campus was unveiled on Oct. 21 at the Albert Street Residence.
Queen’s Student Affairs, Housing and Ancillary Services, the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, and the Residence Society (ResSoc) hosted a dedication ceremony for the opening.
Students, staff, faculty, and the community can gather in the Indigenous Space. The space is intended for enjoying quiet reflections, performances, teachings, and community building.
Artist David R. Maracle from the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte designed the space and performed music during the dedication ceremony. Indigenous-inspired food was offered at the opening.
“This piece represents a special place to gather with a good mind, our minds that watch over us, and an open heart,” Maracle wrote in his artist statement for the piece.
It’s intended to be a place of grounding for those who visit.
“As we move through this fast-paced world, it is always good to have a special place to go when in time of need,” Maracle said.
Entering the space should be done counterclockwise, per the Haudenosaunee ceremonial way.
The turtle shell in the middle symbolizes Mother Earth, and we should “walk softly” while on Earth. The benches around the turtle are “Two Row Wampum Treaty belts,” representing how we respect each other in our differences, including that we do not impose our ways of living on one another.
“This space is important to have in a residence space to increase our efforts of de-colonization at Queen’s University,” ResSoc President Emily Yeung said in a statement to The Journal.
“It is hoped that all students and staff can reflect on this space as a place for healing and reconciliation.”
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