Dear King’s community,
Today we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, honouring the unique heritages, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. First established in 1996 with a name change in 2017, this day of observance, like so many opportunities now available to Canadians to learn a different, deeper history of this land, was created in response to the advocacy of Indigenous groups from around the country.
On behalf of King’s and our learning community, a community located on unceded Mi’kmaw land, I would like to thank the Indigenous people across Canada who generously share their land and resources and their knowledge and wisdom. When you offer those of us who are guests on this land the chance to share in its bounty and to learn together, you offer a gift that strengthens us all.
Our community recently benefitted from a great act of generosity and friendship when in May, the people of Eskasoni First Nation welcomed students and faculty from King’s School of Journalism and Nova Scotia Community College taking the Reporting in Mi’kma’ki course. Offered in partnership with Eskasoni First Nation and led by Rogers Chair in Journalism Trina Roache and Assistant Professor Terra Tailleur, Reporting in Mi’kma’ki teaches journalism students about what it means to report Indigenous stories ethically.
Students in the course traveled to Eskasoni to learn in the largest Mi’kmaw community in the world. While there, they met and spent time learning from Eskasoni community leaders, Elders and young people. Not surprisingly, many fascinating and important stories resulted from this visit. As Master of Journalism student Haeley Cook DiRisio wrote about the course, “I learned so much … from the community by listening and observing.” I would encourage everyone to explore the variety of reporting these students produced thanks to the generosity of their Eskasoni hosts. Thanks also and once again to alum Kathy Pratt LeGrow, BA’70, for her gift that continues to provide funding for this course.
Wherever you are reading this, I hope you will join me in celebrating the Indigenous Peoples whose territories, history, cultures, languages, stories and knowledge shape this country.
President, Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Law