News in Brief: Month of June

Four Directions on Barrie Street.

Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre undergoing renovation

Following recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation task force, Four Directions is under construction for expansion and revitalization. The centre will be reopening this fall.

Four Directions, currently occupying 146 Barrie St., will be extended to include the neighbouring building. The renovated centre will house a new library, programming space and a ceremonial room. Plans for the centre also feature more meeting rooms and additional office space. 

The expansion of Four Directions is a result of recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Task Force. In the Task Force’s report, Queen’s was advised to centralize Indigenous activities and traditions on campus, as well as increase the visibility of the Indigenous community.

Recommendation 13, according to The Gazette, stated Queen’s should “expand Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre and ensure that it is appropriately staffed and resourced to adequately support expanding enrolment of Aboriginal students.”

Four Directions staff will work in Victoria Hall while construction is ongoing. 

City honours two Queen’s students with civic awards

On June 20, the City of Kingston announced this year’s Civic Awards recipients. 

According to the City, the awards honour residents who’ve made outstanding contributions to the comminuty. 

This year’s recipients will be honoured during the Canada Day Civic Ceremony at noon on July 1 at City Hall.

“We live in an amazing city, thanks in large part to the incredible volunteers we have throughout Kingston” Mayor Bryan Paterson said in a press release.

One of the honourees, Emilio Frometa,  is  the former captain of the Queen’s Gaels football team and is studying to receive his masters in Industrial Relations.

Frometa is also the founder and executive director of the Queen’s Autism Mentorship Program that pairs varsity athletes with local youth. The program is meant to “foster friendships and assist with building skills.”

“Emilio saw the need, recruited volunteers and created this program, which has paired more than 40 student athletes with 80 youth and is now supported by Autism Ontario,” the City’s statement read. “He hopes to expand the program to other universities across the province.”

Queen’s other honouree will be Yaara Docrat, a teaching candidate who organized for popular band Busty and the Bass to visit J. G. Simcoe Public School. The band played for and mentored the school’s seventh and eigth grade students.

Docrat has volunteered for the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning. She also led the new Kingston Youth4Music hub in the first Virtual Summit for Music Education hosted by The Coalition of Music Education.

The summit, hosted at the Tett Centre, brought youth from six time zones together to talk about music education.

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