Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Programme to be hosted by Queen’s

Fourth annual programme will facilitate a discussion about Indigenous Learning, Language, and Land 

The programme will run this summer at Queen’s.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Queen’s is set to host an Indigenous experiential learning programme this summer on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee.

The Matariki Indigenous Student Mobility Programme (MISMP) is an international experiential learning program that brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, faculty, and Elders together to critically analyze the lasting impacts of settler colonialism on Indigenous cultures, learning, and land. 

This year will be its fourth run, taking place from June 23 to July 6. 

The two-week event is organized by the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU), a group of seven post-secondary institutions located in different countries around the world, including Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, the US, and New Zealand.  

Last year, Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, hosted MISMP.

Participants in the Queen’s programme can expect to gain a better understanding of Indigenous traditions and current issues affecting Indigenous peoples around the world. This year’s theme is Learning, Language, and Land.Kanonhsyonne Janice Hill, associate vice-principal (indigenous initiatives and reconciliation), is an advisor for the upcoming programme.

“The goal is to have undergraduate students who will return to Queen’s [after the programme] and use what they’ve learned,” Hill said in an interview with The Journal. 

First priority for acceptance into the program will be given to undergraduate Indigenous learners, followed by graduate Indigenous learners, and then non-Indigenous learners. Applications are open to all students at Queen’s through the International Programs Office website until Feb. 15.

According to the application, individuals require previous ties to an Indigenous community or an affiliation with the field of Indigenous studies in order to participate. 

“We hope they’re already doing research or are interested in doing some kind of research in Indigenous studies because they’ll be asked to do presentations during the programme,” Hill said.

Participants can expect to have their perspectives broadened through interaction with students and faculty from around the world. 

“What’s interesting [...] when we gather and talk about the research that’s being done in our countries, with our peoples, is how many similarities there are. We’re all grappling with the same issues,” she said, adding the different perspectives brought into the programme can create avenues for collaboration in the future—broadening the research network.

According to Hill, this year’s program will likely be the last rendition of MISMP. It started as a three-year pilot by the MNU, and although last year should have been its last, Queen’s received special permission from the MNU to deliver an additional round of the programme. 

Moreover, Hill believes the programme is a positive step toward reconciliation because it will facilitate important conversations about widespread issues facing Indigenous communities around the globe, particularly that of stolen land. 

“We can’t really talk about reconciliation until we talk about land, language, and kinship, because those things are the most important to us as Indigenous people. Until we address [them], it’s difficult to talk about reconciliation,” Hill said. “It’s not just a local issue. Our concerns about land are not just Ontario or Canada, it’s global.”

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