Indigenous Awareness Week focuses on solidarity & sovereignty

Club Co-Chair talks events, importance of allyship

Indigenous Awareness Week was held Mar. 11-15.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo
On Mar. 15, Queen’s Native Student Association (QNSA) will host a screening of the film Indian Horse to cap off Indigenous Awareness Week (IAW) 2019. 
 
QNSA planned this year’s Awareness Week around building knowledge of Indigenous “Solidarity & Sovereignty.” Its events were hosted to foster educational spaces that would appeal to, and encourage, a wide range of students to attend. Funding was provided from grants and awards from the AMS and other clubs, including Engineers Without Borders. 
 
“All of the events we’ve planned are incredible and I’m looking forward to all of them,” QNSA Co-Chair Katie Montour told The Journal in an email. “My favourite event was probably the Allyship and Button-Making Workshop that we held [Wednesday].”
 
The event featured a button-making workshop following conversations about practicing regular allyship. 
 
On Monday, QNSA also hosted a bannock bread and cedar tea sale and a Métis Jig Dance workshop. All proceeds for the event were collected for the Unist’ot’en Camp of the Wet’suwet’en people, a group currently attempting to protect their land from pipeline expansion.
 
Tuesday featured a dinner at Leonard Hall with a curated menu. On Thursday night, 
QNSA hosted a social at The Grizzly Grill. 
 
On Friday, the week will close off with a viewing of the Canadian film Indian Horse. 
 
For Montour, the week is a necessity. 
 
“It brings Indigenous culture and issues to the attention of the broader student community,” 
she wrote. “IAW as a whole asserts the fact that Indigenous people are still here on our traditional territory and at Queen’s."
 
She added the events were tailored to attracting broader audiences and have been successful in facilitating conversations and discussions around Indigenous issues, such as allyship. 
 
The week also provides an opportunity to showcase what QNSA has to offer for students on campus, Montour said. 
 
As an AMS club, it focuses on developing and facilitating interests in Indigenous cultures and traditions. It’s comprised of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students and operates out of the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre on campus.   
 
QNSA chose the week’s theme to spread their message that Indigenous peoples are 
sovereign peoples. 
 
“All of the events we’ve planned are incredible and I [was] looking forward to all of them,” Montour said. “Our goal for the week was to encourage people to learn about allyship and demonstrate solidarity.”
 

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