Sweet return for Indigenous Peoples’ Week March 28 – April 1


IONKWATÓNHAHERE is a Kanien’kéha word that means “We are raising our Spirits.” In the wake of the last two years, Indigenous communities have been re-confronted with the realities of colonialism. For this reason, the organizers of Dawson’s Indigenous Peoples’ Week (formally First Peoples’ Week) have decided to focus on celebrating the joy within our cultures, to raise our collective spirits.

The week-long celebration will begin Monday, March 28 at 10 a.m. on the West Grounds (near the E-Wing gazebo) with a traditional opening ceremony led by Kanien’kehá:ka elder Otsi’tsaken’ren Patton, followed by a mini Pow Wow in the Lower Atrium featuring Buffalo Hat Singers on the round drum.

Guest speakers during the week will include Dr. Laurie Russo-Nepton, the first Indigenous woman from Quebec to earn a PhD in astrophysics; Karihwiióstha Montour, a Kanien’kehá:ka woman working on Kanien’kéha language revitalization in Kahnawà:ke, and Nakuset, the director of the Native Woman’s Shelter of Montreal.

Faculty can still reserve spots in any of the presentations by emailing First Peoples Centre Coordinator Tiawentí:non Canadian: tcanadian@dawsoncollege.qc.ca

The team is really looking forward to bringing Indigenous foods back to campus. There will be a special lunch served each afternoon in Conrods starting at 12 p.m. Take-away lunches will be available for sale to staff and students from Monday to Thursday. First come, first served.

Finally, as some Dawson community members may have noticed, there are 10 maple trees in and around the Peace Garden, from which the First Peoples Centre and the Decolonization and Indigenization Studies Certificate staff and students are harvesting sap.

The Wáhta Óhses (maple syrup) project is a land-based pedagogy effort that is intended to teach the Dawson community about the Indigenous roots of processing maple sap into sugar, as well as give students the knowledge they need to process maple syrup, from tree to table.

During Indigenous Peoples Week, the group will be boiling down the sap in the gazebo between the E and B wings. Everyone is welcome to stop by the gazebo to participate, hang out, and experience how Indigenous folks make syrup.

We are looking forward to a week of celebrating Indigenous peoples’ knowledge, leadership, and ingenuity. All the events are open to the entire Dawson community.

See the full schedule here: Indigenous Peoples Week 2022 Schedule March 28-April 1

Last Modified: March 23, 2022