Indigenous students, staff and faculty at Brock University are invited to take part in virtual sharing circles that will reflect on Brock’s Campus Climate Survey.
The groups are open to all self-identified First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, regardless of whether they participated in the survey or not.
The two available virtual circles for students will be led by Indigenous students Nick Printup and Kelyn Best.
Printup said he is looking forward for the chance to listen and learn with Indigenous students from across the University.
“We want our peers to know that their input and contributions in this sharing circle are valued, imperative and meaningful, which will work to improving Brock for Indigenous student learning and life experiences,” he said. “We are working to ensure our peers are provided with a safe sharing environment free of divisions of power. We want to assure our student peers that anonymity is a top priority, so as to better support their participation.”
Best said the group would also explore topics that have arisen since the survey was completed.
“We need to address the climate survey, absolutely, but so much has happened since then,” she said. “We should also be asking how COVID-19 is affecting Indigenous students’ lives here. We want to voice the concerns of our fellow students, their everyday experiences pre-COVID, as well as the new or exacerbated challenges post-COVID, something the climate survey had no way of anticipating. The digital divide is real, systemic and detrimental to marginalised and rural communities; we need to make sure they are heard.”
Brock’s Acting Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement, Robyn Bourgeois will host the two other virtual circles, with the circle for staff meeting Tuesday, March 16 between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and the circle for faculty meeting Friday, March 19 from noon to 1:30 p.m.
“The climate survey offered some important insights into the Indigenous experience at Brock, and these circles are a critical starting point for Indigenous peoples to have their perspectives heard about the future of Brock,” said Bourgeois. “The goal of these circles is to identify actionable items for Brock to take to improve the climate of the University for Indigenous peoples.”
As a sign of reciprocity, all people who attend any of the student, faculty or staff sessions will have the opportunity to enter a draw for prizes.
To register for the faculty and staff circles, email firstname.lastname@example.org
If unable to attend the circles, Indigenous staff and faculty are welcome to provide email feedback to email@example.com or to arrange a time to meet with Bourgeois, while students can email their feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or to arrange a time to meet with Best or Printup.