Update: Organizational Statement

We are currently undergoing a much needed process of reflection on our group’s organizing. The context in which this group was founded is much changed, and with more Indigenous led resources and groups on campus, there is a need to restructure and re-envision what the role and place of a group such as this is. As part of this process, building and mending relationships between the predominantly non-Indigenous coordinating team and Indigenous students on campus as well as in the community is currently our group’s primary focus. Thus, we have decided to postpone publishing our next volume so that the journal can more accurately reflect the processes which our mandate intended. In the interim, we will be accepting rolling submissions. More importantly, we will be changing our name so that it no longer misrepresents the group as primarily Indigenous student led. The name was chosen by Indigenous advisors many years ago, but given the context of widespread appropriation it has received necessary critiques from Indigenous students on campus. Thus, changing the name is an important and vital step in (re)building relationships in order to avoid inadvertently reproducing harmful patterns. As such, working in consultation with the Indigenous Student Alliance and Indigenous students on campus, we are changing the name to McGill Student Indigenous Studies Journal.

We thank you all for your understanding and please feel free to get in touch.

The McGill Student Indigenous Studies Journal team

Catching Up: Indigenous Studies Program, Events, and Journal

First, we’d like to sincerely apologize for the lack of activity on our website  – we had a server error which locked us out – but we are back now with lots of major updates:




The Indigenous Studies Minor Program was launched!

Read about it here:

Description of the Minor Program Here

Logo design by Marcy Maracle, member of the Indigenous Student Alliance

KANATA EVENTS – 2014-2015

We launched our 8th Volume on April 9th, 2015 and wish to thank everyone who came to the launch!


The Volume: 8

KANATA Executive Coordinators: Chris Gismondi & Caleb Holden

KANATA Executive Board 2014-2015: Ariane Carter, Mélanie Wittes, Ashley Vach, Marta Kolbuszewska, Jasmin Winter, Iain Childerhose, Rosie Hatton, Catherine Penney, and Jed Nabwangu

KANATA Editors-in-Chief: Caleb Holdern & Marta Kolbuszewska

KANATA Editors: Alexander Furneaux, Avelaine Freeman, Caroline Copeman, Casarina Hocebar, Emily Weatherbed, Evelyne To, Haya Rizvi, Jackie Cooper, Jacob Schweda, Jaky Kueper, Jennifer Yoon, Kate Harris, Kariane St-Denis, Mackenna Caughron, Michael Wrobel, Monica Allaby, Nicole Cerpnjak, Nina Patti, Varun Chandra, Vita Azaro

Guest Editorial: Dr. Allan Downey

Content Contributors: Marta Kolbuszewska, Stephani Willsey, Joanna Jordan, Jennifer Mueller, Robbie Madsen, Jasmin Winter, Sarah Swiderski, Chris Gismondi, Michael Klassen,  Sophie Beauregard, Aaron Blair, Cedar Eve-Peters, Joe Jaw Ashoona, , Ava Liu, David Searle, Mélanie Wittes, Clare Heggies, Jannika Nyberg, Émile Duschesne, Shariss Oster

Design Editor: Jay Rajpal

E-Version: KANATA Vol. 8 Winter 2015

Join Us for KANATA Vol. 7 Journal Launch on April 3rd, 2014

Join us for Snacks, Live Music, Spoken Word, and Journals! 

Come celebrate the launch of Volume 7 of KANATA, our annual journal publication and the hard work of individuals involved in this year’s publication, as well as to celebrate the creation of the new Indigenous Studies minor at McGill!

The launch will be a fundraiser for the Montreal Native Women’s Shelter.

(3:00-5:00pm on April 3, 2014 @ SSMU: Madeleine Parent Room)


Upcoming events: PYPWYMI, Conference, Discussions, Journal Launch


Here are some great workshops and events going on this week and in the upcoming month!
1) Put Your Politics Where Your Mouth Is: THIS WEEK!
2) Conference: Whose Truth? What Kind of Reconciliation?: March 13-14, 2014
3) Discussing Indigenous Agency with Professor Cheryl Suzack and special guest N. Bruce Duthu: March 31, 2014
4) KANATA Journal Launch: April 3, 2014
1) Put Your Politics Where Your Mouth Is

Put Your Politics Where Your Mouth Is is an annual week of talks, teach-ins, and skill sharing around food justice on campus and beyond. This series of events is coordinated by The Midnight Kitchen and The People’s Potato – two campus-based soup collective that serve by-donation vegan meals to McGill and Concordia students as well as the general Montreal community. This year workshops and events will focus specifically on the ways food politics intersect with race, racism and white supremacy. Workshops and events will highlight the ways in which Indigenous Peoples and People of Colour are impacted by a variety issues related to food politics, as well as resilience and resistance in the face of dominant food systems which inflict violence upon the lives, bodies and lands of racialized people.

workshops coming up:


  • Fat Embodiment, Race, and Class” (Tuesday, March 11 @ 13h)
  • Snacks & Screening of “The Chocolate Farmer” (Tuesday March 11 @ 18h)
  • Closed Dinner for People of Colour and Indigenous-identified Folks (Wednesday March 12 @ 18:30)
  • Solidarity Across Borders’ Winter Feast! A Community Dinner (Thursday March 13, @ 18:30) 
  • Red Urban Project Cooking on First Nation Meal (Friday March 14 @ 16h)


For full workshop descriptions and facebook links visit: http://themidnightkitchen.wordpress.com/

2) Conference: Whose Truth? What Kind of Reconciliation?

This two day conference seeks to examine the role Truth and Reconciliation Commissions play in promoting social cohesion, which leads to democratic good governance, in the wake of tragedies or other nationally destabilizing events. Since the 1980s almost 30 TRCs have been initiated, making this a significant time to explore different national issues with and without TRCs.

McGill Faculty Club, 3450 McTavish – March 13-14, 2014 – open to the general public

For the Full Program visit: http://www.mcgill.ca/isid/isid-conference-2014/program 

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/478985828870345/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular 


3) Discussing Indigenous Agency with Professor Cheryl Suzack and special guest N. Bruce Duthu: March 31, 2014

Professor Cheryl Suzack, (Batchewana First Nations), Assistant Professor of English, University of Toronto, 2014 Visiting Eakin Fellow: “Reparatory Justice, Human Rights, and Indigenous Feminisms”

followed by: 

Professor N. Bruce Duthu, Samson Occom Professor and Chair of Native American Studies, Dartmouth College, enrolled tribal member, United Houma Nation of Louisiana: “Of Guardian and Wards: Tribal Sovereignty and the Limits of Legal Pluralism”

Faculty Club Ballroom, main floor, 3450 rue McTavish , March 31, 2014 @ 16:30pm

For More information see: https://www.mcgill.ca/misc/channels/event/2014-eakin-lecture-discussing-indigenous-agency-professors-cheryl-suzack-2014-eakin-f


4) KANATA Vol. 7 Journal Launch: April 3, 2014

Afternoon of April 3, 2014 @ SSMU: Madeleine Parent Room 

Come celebrate the launch of Volume 7 of KANATA with us!


Have a great week!

– the KANATA Exec

KANATA – McGill Indigenous Studies Community

News: Indigenous studies minor approved at McGill for Fall 2014


The McGill Tribune

Indigenous studies minor approved for Fall 2014

Long-awaited program passed by Senate seeks to provide interdisciplinary study of Indigenous issues

Natalie Wong

Students will be able to enroll in a new Indigenous Studies minor in the Faculty of Arts starting in Fall 2014, following the program’s approval by Senate last Wednesday.

The program, which has been the goal of ongoing initiatives by students and faculty for approximately 10 years, will be administered by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC).

According to MISC Director William Straw, groups such as KANATA and First Peoples’ House researched existing programs in other universities and courses in Indigenous studies already available at McGill. MISC then began to put together a proposal over the Summer and Fall of 2013.

“We were able to base our proposal on the incredible research the various student groups had done,” Straw said. “The dean of arts indicated that he supported the actual proposal coming from MISC.”

According to Arts Senator and KANATA Vice-President External Claire Stewart-Kanigan, McGill’s previous lack of an Indigenous Studies program set it behind most Canadian universities.

“It is a bit of a trend in Quebec that Indigenous issues don’t have as much currency as they do in the west,” she said. “I think this is a really important step in making sure that people from Quebec can study this.”

The minor concentration seeks to provide students with a diverse, interdisciplinary outlook on the social, cultural, and historical elements of Indigenous life in Canada, according to Senate documents.

“Core courses offered within the program will provide interdisciplinary treatments of Indigenous life,” the documents read. “The program of the course will focus on the history of Indigenous populations in Canada, Aboriginal art and culture, and legacies of Indigenous resistance to the Canadian state.”

According to Straw, the minor will consist of two new courses—an introductory course and an upper level seminar in Indigenous studies. Students fulfill the remaining 12 credits for the program through course options cross-listed from other programs such as English, history, anthropology, and sociology.

The university will hire two new professors for the core courses, with recruitment beginning in March or April.

The proposal required approval from the Subcommittee on Courses and Teaching Programs and the Academic Policy Committee, prior to Senate approval.

However, the new minor could still face challenges such as financial difficulties, according to Stewart-Kanigan.

“There were a lot of problems getting faculty support [and] finding a faculty that would house this new minor,” she said. “For the program to really flourish and become its own autonomous unit, you will need a department chair and that takes funding.”

Stewart-Kanigan said costs could be as high as $2-3 million.

Straw added that soliciting greater involvement with the community is an additional goal for those involved in creating the program.

“Another challenge will be finding ways to involve […] the community of students invested in Indigenous studies and local Indigenous communities themselves,” he said. “We want to set up an advisory structure that conforms to McGill’s governance structure while acknowledging that an Indigenous Studies program needs to involve communities in a way that other programs may not.”

Jacob Greenspon, vice-president academic of the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS), said many arts students have shown enthusiasm for the new minor.

“Students have been really excited about this,” he said. “A lot of them did seem to think we had a program like this but now they’re finding out it’s offered […] I think a lot of people are really excited to go into this topic.”

original source: http://mcgilltribune.com/indigenous-studies-minor-approved-for-fall-2014/

Upcoming Events: Journal Launch, Workshop, March, and more!

Hello KANATA Community,
Thank you to all of you who have submitted to our journal. We received many high-quality academic, art and creative writing submissions! – We look forward to seeing all of you at our…
Volume 7 Journal Launch!
Afternoon of April 3rd @ SSMU: Madeleine Parent Room 
Mark your Calendars!
Until then, here are a few other upcoming things to keep you busy:
Annual Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women
Friday, February 14th @ 6:00pm, Place Emilie Gamelin (near Berri-UQAM)
Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (Missing Justice) invites you and yours to come out and show your love on Valentine’s Day by coming out to this year’s Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women on Friday February 14th, 6pm at Place Emilie Gamelin (Berri Metro, corner Berri & Ste. Catherine).
The first women’s memorial march was held in 1991 in response to the murder of a First Nations Coast Salish woman on Powell Street in Vancouver. Out of this sense of hopelessness and anger came an annual march on Valentine’s Day to express compassion, community, and caring for all women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Unceded Coast Salish Territories.
Building Bridges Through Understanding: 
An Experiential Workshop on Colonization and Reconciliation
Friday, February 21st from 9:00am-5:00pm, Downtown YMCA Centre Ville, Montreal
Hosted by Canadian Roots Exchange
Geared to solutions and healing rather than recrimination , and inspired by Jann Derrick’s teachings of ‘The Circle and The Box,’ and by many Elder’s teachings, this experiential workshop, will help participants to better understand traditional Aboriginal ways and values as well as our personal role in supporting their revival. It will also explore the affects of Residential Schools and Canada’s Policy of Assimilation. This workshop is a great forum in which to ask questions and is done from a non-blame and non-shame perspective.
THE FACILITATOR: Kathi Camilleri is an Aboriginal woman from British Columbia who has worked coordinating healing programs in the Aboriginal Community for 16 years
**This workshop is FREE and is open to all youth aged 30 years old and under, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous
** lunch will be served provided and SPACE IS LIMITED
Please confirm your attendance by emailing:montreal@canadianroots.ca 
Canadian Studies Journal 
CSAUS – The Canadian Studies Association of Undergraduate Students is still accepting submissions for its Journal Publication, “Canadian Content”.
– Seeking papers and diverse mediums (plays, poetry, photography, short stories etc).
– Essays or academic work should have received a grade of A- or higher
– Submissions must be “Canadian themed”
– English or French both welcomed
Email submissions to csaus.exec@gmail.com
DEADLINE: March 1, 2014


– Your KANATA Exec

KANATA – McGill Indigenous Studies Community

Welcome back, McGill!

KANATA is excited to welcome everyone back for another year! We have many exciting events planned and look forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones!

A huge thanks to everyone who came out to the 12th Annual McGill Pow Wow, it was a great success. We are excited to start the semester off with the 3rd Annual Indigenous Awareness Week which will run from September 23rd to the 27th. KANATA will be presenting a screening of The Real Injun on Tuesday September 24th at 4pm. The Real Injun examines the Indigenous representation and appropriation of Native American culture through out film history.


For more information please see the facebook event for full details surrounding Indigenous Awareness Week. https://www.facebook.com/events/557747334273917/

KANATA Volume 6 Journal Launch!

After much hard work, KANATA Volume 6  is finally here!

Please join us for our Journal Launch, Friday April 12, 2013!

Featuring talent and performances from the McGill and Montreal community:
Spoken Word Artist Tiffany Harrington
Singer/Songwriter Demiel Pepin
Hoop Dancer Marie-Celine Charron

We are proud to also be hosting a fundraising raffle for the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal!

Journals will be available for purchase for $12, $2 from each book going to the Native Women’s Shelter.
There will be refreshments and food served!
5pm-7pm in the Madeline Parent Room, 2nd floor SSMU.3480 McTavish Street.

Please come out and support local writers and artists as well as the Native Women’s Shelter!Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 12.47.09 PM

KANATA Vol. 6 – Call for Submissions!!

KANATA, the Undergraduate Journal of the Indigenous Studies Community of McGill University is calling for submissions for its sixth volume.

KANATA is an interdisciplinary student-published journal with content that focuses on topics relating to Indigenous Peoples of North America.

Open Submissions: 

  • Writing from any academic discipline (A-range papers, 15 pages maximum double-spaced, excluding references)
  • Non-academic writing and Art including short stories (fiction & non-fiction), poetry, personal reflections, paintings, photography, photo essays, etc.

Submissions policy: 

  • KANATA prioritizes publishing undergraduate work although unpublished material from all levels is also accepted
  • Priority is given to McGill students for academic submissions, however students and non-students outside of McGill are encouraged to submit as well
  • Please include references for all academic work, your full name, and the academic institution or community you are a member of

Deadline for Submissions: February 4, 2013 extended to February 11, 2013! Send submissions to: kanata.mcgill@gmail.com 

For questions and/or more information please contact:kanata.mcgill@gmail.com

 In the midst of the national uprising and international movement, Idle No More, KANATA is committed to engaging in dialogue with the greater community on Indigenous issues and creating platforms for the sharing of knowledge. We work in the spirit of raising consciousness and enriching our education; in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples everywhere.

Kanata Peer-to-Peer Conference Starts TOMORROW! [Nov.27-28]

Hello Friends of KANATA!

Our conference is just a day away! Our schedule is now confirmed with new additions to the “Connecting Community” sharing sessions, the Aboriginal Law Students’ Association and the Barriere Lake Solidarity Project!

The final schedule is below. We hope to see you there to participate in dialogue and learn of the important work our community is engaged in!

KANATA’s 2nd Annual Peer-to-Peer Conference: Connecting Community Schedule:

Tuesday, November 27:

10:00am – 4:00pm events in:
SSMU Breakout Room
3480 McTavish Street
2nd Floor

4:30pm – 6:30pm events in:
Thomson House
3650 McTavish Street
Room 404

Opening Celebratory Hoop Dance
by Marie Celine Charron,Naskapis Nation
10:00am – 10:15am

NETWORK Health Committee
10:15am – 11:30am

Midnight Kitchen Solidarity Lunch
11:30am – 12:15pm

Quebec Native Women
12:15pm – 1:30pm

North American Indigenous Studies Program (working title) Community Forum
2:00pm – 4:00pm

—— switch venues from Breakout Room to Thomson House ——

Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal
4:30 – 5:30

Aboriginal Law Students’ Association
5:30pm – 6:30pm


Wednesday, November 28

10:00am – 2:30pm events in:
First Peoples’ House
3505 Peel Street

3:00pm – 6:30pm events in:
Thomson House
3650 McTavish Street
Room 404

First Peoples’ House
10:00am – 11:30am

Soup and Bannock
11:30am – 12:30pm

Indigenous Students Alliance
1:00pm – 2:30pm

—— switch venues from First Peoples House to Thomson House ——

Aboriginal Health Interest Group
3:00pm – 4:00pm

Barriere Lake Solidarity Project
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Concordia’s First Peoples Studies
5:00pm – 6:00pm

Café KANATA Meet and Greet
6:00pm – 7:00pm

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