Indigenous Student Affairs Services

Dedicated to promoting full access, participation and success for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students.

Events and Workshops

TIME OF YEAR

EVENT

 
September/January

Biidaabin (Orientation)

Each Fall and Winter, the Indigenous Student Affairs office welcomes both first-year and returning Indigenous students to Laurentian with a traditional feast, service fair with both internal and external departments and agencies, as well as engaging orientation activities open to students, faculty, and staff. Biidaabin is an opportunity for Indigenous students to be introduced to the academic and cultural supports that are available to them both at Laurentian and within the Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, their home away from home.

September 30th

Orange Shirt Day

The “Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters” campaign is run to create awareness surrounding the experiences of children in Residential Schools and how each of their lives matter. The campaign was created out of the story of Phyllis Webstad who attended a residential school when she was 6 years old and had her new orange shirt, gifted to her by her grandmother, violently taken away from her.

November

Métis Cultural Day

A day to honour the culture and language of the Métis people and also celebrates the life of hero Louis Riel. Festivities include traditional Métis fiddle music, jigging, traditional foods, and finger-weaving demonstrations.

January

Nakiiwin Tek

Each Winter, the Indigenous Student Affairs office holds a career information fair that connects Indigenous students with potential employers from various organizations and companies across Ontario. This assists students with finding summer jobs and post-grad employment.

February 14th

Red Dress Campaign

Taking place annually on Feb 14 th , the Red Dress Campaign (inspired by The REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black) creates awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada. The most visually striking reminder of this event on the Laurentian campus is the installation of red dresses along University Road during the cold winter months.

February

Moose Hide Campaign

Occurring shortly after the Red Dress Campaign each year, the Moose Hide Campaign gives men the opportunity to participate in a fasting ceremony, share teachings, and show their support by standing up against violence towards Indigenous women and girls.

October/April

ISLC All-Nighter: Healing With Culture Campaign

The aim of this campaign is to create both awareness regarding the importance of self-care as well as healing for Indigenous students in post-secondary studies through connecting with their culture and to end stigma surrounding mental health. Students collect pledges for how many hours they remain awake throughout the night in support of this campaign while they engage in self-care activities such as vision board-making, journaling, collaborative art, beading, journaling, games, sharing circles, cultural activities, and much more!

October/June

Indigenous Student Celebration

A time to celebrate their final achievement, the Indigenous Student Celebration honours each Indigenous student upon their graduation both in the Fall and Winter semesters each year. Graduates are acknowledged individually in front of family, friends, staff, and faculty and visit together over a traditional Indigenous feast.

August

Nwiijkiwenjik Day

First Nations, Inuit and Métis youth are invited to take part in a day of Indigenous education on the Laurentian campus which includes cultural teachings, confidence and team building activities, as well as experiments and presentations that Indigenous Knowledge with S.T.E.M. During Nwiijkiwenjik Day, Indigenous youth have the opportunity to develop a special relationship with Laurentian early on before they begin thinking about post-secondary studies.


TIME OF YEAR

WORKSHOP

 
Monthly

Women's Full Moon Ceremony

Each month, women from the Laurentian community are invited to come together in ceremony to seek guidance from Grandmother Moon and to offer their prayers for those who need help.

September/October, January/February

Academic Workshops

For the first two months of the Fall and Winter semesters, our Indigenous Learning Strategist offers various workshops geared to assist students to succeed in their studies. These include but are not limited to: Time Management, Essay Writing and Formatting, Note-taking, Oral Presentations, Reading and Writing Skills, and Exam Preparation.

September/October, January/February

Mental Health Wellness & Student Support Workshops

For the first two months of the Fall and Winter semesters, our Indigenous Counsellor offers various workshops geared to assist students to succeed in their studies and cope with university life. These include but are not limited to: Applying for Bursaries & Scholarships, Self-Care, Healthy Relationships, Stress Management, Lateral Violence, Vision Boards, Résumé & Cover Letter Writing, and Budgeting.

Weekly

Men's Weekly Drum Social

Each week, men are invited to gather to sing around the Grandfather Drum and listen to teachings shared by a traditional Knowledge Keeper. Women are also invited to sing around the men and dancers can come dance to the beat of the drum. All are welcome to attend.

Winter (January-April)

Women's Weekly Hand-drumming

Each week beginning in January, women and girls will be invited to bring their Grandmothers to drum together and learn songs.

Weekly

manidoomiinensag "little spirit seeds" (Beading Circle)

Each week, usually combined with the men's weekly drum social, all are invited to learn different beading styles or to bring projects of their own to work on. This is a great time to de-stress, socialize, and visit with other beaders.

Weekly

Sewing Socials

Each week students are invited to come work on their sewing projects (i.e. regalia, ribbon skirts and shirts, feast bags, star-blankets) and/or try hand-crafting artisan items such as moccasins, mitts, medicine pouches, etc.


TIME OF YEAR

TRAINING

 
Bi-annually

ASIST

At a minimum of twice a year, usually during Laurentian's Reading Weeks, the Indigenous Student Affairs office will offer ASIST. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. To get more information on training availability please email isa@laurentian.ca today!

Bi-annually

MHFAFN Training

At a minimum of twice a year, the Indigenous Student Affairs office will offer Mental Health First Aid First Nations (MHFAFN) training on campus. It is designed to provide an opportunity for First Nations participants and others who work with First Nations to learn and have serious conversations about mental health and wellness. Participants will reflect on their life experiences, acknowledge the historical context of the colonization of Canada and move forward to address and explore ways to restore balance on a journey to mental health and wellness. To get more information on training availability, please email isa@laurentian.ca today!

Ongoing-on campus/upon request

KAIROS Blanket Exercise

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise program is a unique, interactive and participatory history lesson developed in collaboration with Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and educators.

Developed in response to the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1996, the KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE) covers more than 500 years in a 90-minute experiential workshop that aims to foster understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. To get more information on training availability, please email isa@laurentian.ca today!

Indigenous Student Affairs

Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre, first floor of the R.D. Parker building