New task force to focus on Indigenous issues

Indigenous learning placed in higher priority by Queen’s

Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre on Queen's Campus.
Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre on Queen's Campus.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Queen’s has announced the creation of a new task force focused on the recommendations of last year’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.

Provost Alan Harrison made the announcement at the most recent meeting of the Aboriginal Council of Queen’s University (ACQU). The council has also released its annual review of the last year, which found that targets for increased Indigenous student support have been met.

The task force will respond to the recommendations and calls-to-action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report and use those points to develop recommendations for future Queen’s initiatives.

The report, which was released last December, addresses Canada’s history of residential schools and outlines recommended actions to reconcile the relationship between the Canadian government and Canada’s Indigenous populations.

ACQU meets three times each year and is mandated to be involved in any decisions affecting Aboriginal programs and services at Queen’s. The council’s annual report to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities focuses on progress made by current initiatives at Queen’s.

The Council’s Annual Report

The council’s report revealed that while provincial funding for Aboriginal programs hasn’t increased significantly over the last three-year cycle, Queen’s has increased its cross-campus financial support for programs and services.

The council also reported a raise in the admission of self-identified Aboriginal students in direct-entry undergraduate programs.

For the 2015-16 school year, the council reported that the university received 24 per cent more applications than it did in January 2014. Offers of admission increased by 40 per cent and acceptances for 2016-17 have already surpassed those of the previous admission cycle.

The number of Indigenous students applying under the Aboriginal Admission Policy was  consistent with previous years at 87 per cent.

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