Kinàmàgawin means “learning together” and as Algonquin Elder Barbara Dumont-Hill reminds us, “Kinàmàgawin is about the future.” Kinàmàgawin is the title of the report of the Carleton University Strategic Indigenous Initiatives Committee that identifies 41 Calls for Action that reflect Carleton’s commitment to learning from and with Indigenous Peoples, and it asserts “Funding opportunities for Indigenous students should also be provided by the university” (pg. 19). The commitment to increasing Carleton students’ knowledge about Indigenous Peoples, Canada’s colonial history, and their treaty responsibilities is shared across the university and students in Indigenous Studies have a unique and dynamic role: they are students who have committed to centring Indigenous Knowledges in their degree programs and participating in its intellectual resurgence.
The Indigenous Studies program at Carleton appeals to a wide range of students interested in learning about Indigenous Peoples, cultures, artistic practices, politics, contemporary issues and future possibilities. Students often come to Indigenous Studies in order to grow intellectually without being expected to leave behind their embodied identities and experiences as Indigenous peoples and allies. They come as advocates and activists who have prioritized Indigenous issues and as aspiring allies in the struggle for decolonization and anti-colonial pursuits.
Indigenous Studies is a new and expanding program at the University, drawing students from a wide range of backgrounds. Located on unceded Algonquin Anishinabeg territory, the program has drawn upon the strength of its location to build sound relationships with the numerous urban and national Indigenous organizations and communities in the region. As an area of growth in the university and resonating with priorities nation-wide, this fund and scholarship will provide recognition to an outstanding undergraduate student in an Indigenous Studies program.
Indigenous Studies is a vibrant and rigorous field of intellectual and political engagement. Students in Indigenous Studies are leaders increasing knowledge about the history and current priorities of Indigenous peoples and pathways to decolonized futures. Through their studies and individual engagement, students will broaden Canadian society’s understanding of many issues that make the news, as well as those issues that aren’t drawing media attention. Through a lens of critical theory, students in Indigenous Studies are learning about and challenging common narratives about Canadian history to account for Canada’s mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and the resiliency and survivance of Indigenous Peoples, shaping the future of Indigenous-settler relations and Indigenous sovereignty.
Our first goal is to raise $5000 to support an outstanding undergraduate student in an Indigenous Studies program for the 2021-2022 school year. Once we reach that goal, we hope to raise $25,000 to create an endowment, which would offer this scholarship in perpetuity on an annual basis. This scholarship will be awarded based on academic success and potential. Special consideration will be given to a student from an Algonquin Anishinabeg community or the urban Indigenous community(ies) in Ottawa.
The scholarship will reward a student for academic commitment and support their efforts to be successful. While this recognition will demonstrate the university’s confidence in the student, it will also demonstrate to the wider community that Indigenous Studies is valued at Carleton University. The valuing of learning about Indigenous issues from Indigenous perspectives will bolster efforts at reconciliation and public education about Canada as a nation-state predicated on treaty relationships and anti-colonial solidarity with Indigenous peoples.