A variety of Canadian universities and colleges host annual Aboriginal Awareness Weeks which include diverse cultural and educational events to raise awareness on their campuses about Indigneous peoples, issues, cultures and worldviews. This post includes brief descriptions of the different series of events which take place at post-secondary institutions across the country each year.
Sir Sandford Fleming College hosts an Aboriginal Awareness Week in February which raises awareness about Aboriginal people and perspectives through: Meetings with Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers, Ceremonies, Art Celebrations of Aboriginal Youth, and Traditional Food. The event is posted each year on Fleming’s Facebook page.
McGill University holds an annual Indigenous Awareness Week in September which is “an opportunity to discover and learn about Indigenous peoples in Canada.” The week starts off with the annual Powwow, located on campus and hosted by the First People’s House. The issue of Indigenous identity was one of the topics discussed in the 2013 awareness week. Indigenous filmmakers were highlighted throughout the week.
Trent University Native Association (T.U.N.A.) hosts awareness activities during the week going on throughout Trent. The 2014 week included activities ranging from round dances to talks to discuss important contemporary issues that face Indigenous people in Canada. Highlights of the unique cultures were interactive and encouraged students who have had little to no experience interacting with Indigenous people to learn and ask questions.
University of Toronto annually hosts Indigenous Education Week which “highlights the contribution of Indigenous knowledges to education.” This event is a time for students and the community to “learn about diverse Indigenous cultures; locally and globally.” Activities include roundtable discussions, craft workshops, teachings, film screenings and cultural exchanges.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier University offers a range of activities which are held in March at its Waterloo and Brantford campuses. Activities include hand drumming, traditional food, medicine wheel teachings, knitting, empowering lectures, and Métis dot art. Learning is done in an interactive, safe space to learn about the first people to call this land home.
Queen’s University’s Native Student Association hosts an annual Aboriginal Awareness Week.
University of Guelph hosts an annual Aboriginal Awareness Week in order to acknowledge “the Aboriginal presence and partnerships on campus, create opportunities for education and discussion, and to improve accessibility for Aboriginal students coming to Guelph.”
Thompson River University encourages students and staff to attend its Aboriginal Awareness Week series of events.
University of Lethbridge has an Aboriginal Awareness week put on by the Native American Student’s Association. Events in the pas have included an Opening Ceremony, an Elder’s Tea, an Urban Aboriginal Awards evening, and a Powwow.
University of British Columbia: The Indigenous Law Student’s Association hosts an Aboriginal Awareness week in February every year.