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Celebrating Indigenous History Month and Pride Month in the Faculty of Health Sciences

Celebrating Indigenous History Month and Pride Month in the Faculty of Health Sciences

June is Indigenous History Month and Pride Month. Both recognized by the Government of Canada, June is a time to celebrate the history, diversity, and contributions of Canadians who identify as Indigenous or as members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community.

Pride Month dates back to 1970 in New York City, where LGBTQIA2S+ activists organized a march on the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a spontaneous demonstration in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn. Canada also has a rich history of LGBTQIA2S+ activism, with the notable gay rights protests taking place as early as 1971. Over the years, these demonstrations have evolved into a month of festivals and celebrations across the world.

June was declared National Indigenous History Month by the Government of Canada in 2009, following a unanimous motion in the House of Commons. It was established to recognize the First Nation, Inuit and Métis people who have helped shape Canadian history, as well as celebrate their culture and heritage.

Given the recent discovery of the remains of children of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, the faculty is recognizing this time as a period of mourning. The news is a reminder of the horrifying impact of the country’s residential school system on Indigenous peoples. The inequities, intergenerational trauma and health outcome disparities that were perpetuated by this system continue today, affecting Indigenous peoples across the country.

In FHS, we recognize that this news may be re-traumatizing for Indigenous learners, staff and faculty members. During this difficult time, please take care of yourselves and look out for your colleagues and fellow students. Individuals who need support or accommodations are encouraged to reach out to Elder-in-Residence Wendy Phillips (w.phillips@queensu.ca), their instructors or their managers as applicable.

The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) is committed to supporting Indigenous and LGBTQIA2S+ faculty, staff, and learners. We encourage everyone in the faculty to show their support by engaging with the activities, opportunities for reflection and events that will be hosted throughout the month.

12 Questions with… videos: Get to know some of the amazing Indigenous and LGBTQIA2S+ people in FHS by watching our “12 Questions with…” videos. 

  • Cortney Clark, Indigenous Recruitment and Access Coordinator 
  • Kyle Vader, Ph.D. Candidate in Rehabilitation Science & physiotherapist


National Indigenous Peoples Day sunrise ceremony: Monday, June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. The Indigenous community at FHS is celebrating by hosting a Sunrise ceremony at 8:30am, featuring Dean Jane Philpott. All are welcome to register for the event.

Pronouns Challenge: You've likely noticed that many of your colleagues are including their pronouns in their email signature and on their Zoom/Teams screen name. In solidarity with the transgender community and in honour of Pride month, we invite you to add your pronouns to your screen names and emails.

Feature Stories: Keep an eye on the FHS homepage throughout the month of June for stories highlighting the achievements of our Indigenous and LGBTQIAS2S+ faculty and learners

Zoom Backgrounds: Show your support for the LGBTQIA2S+ community on Teams and on Zoom by using a Pride-themed virtual backdrop.

Pride Zoom Background Image 1 Pride Zoom Background Image 2 Pride Zoom Background Image 3 Pride Zoom Background Image 4

How to upload a new background image: Zoom Instructions | Teams Instructions
**When you upload your new background into Zoom or Teams the images may appear mirrored(or flipped backwards) to you. However they will show correctly to the other attendees in your virtual meeting.

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