PEI

UPEI honours Indigenous leaders at Recognition of Founders ceremony

For the first time in the past 16 years, UPEI honoured Indigenous leaders on the Island in its Recognition of Founders ceremony.

Traditional drumming and smudging performed at the ceremony

Traditional drumming and smudging were performed Monday at UPEI's Recognition of Founders ceremony. This year, Indigenous leaders were honoured for their contributions. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

For the first time in 16 years, UPEI honoured Indigenous leaders on the Island in its Recognition of Founders ceremony.

'Indigenize'

"If we want to Indigenize, our primary goal must first be to decolonize the university, as you cannot have one without the other. In order to Indigenize, we need to incorporate Indigenous knowledge, voices, scholars, world view and students into our campus," said Jenna Burke, the Aboriginal student mentor at the Mawi'omi Centre.

"And in order for this process to truly meet its goal, we must allow Indigenous peoples to be in control over the Indigenizing process."

Traditional drumming, smudging

At the ceremony, traditional drumming and smudging was performed. 

Burke said she wants to see the university invest money into more services for students and more Indigenous courses. 

"It is so important that UPEI help non-Indigenous people to not only learn, but to understand the real history of this land and of colonization. This process will be discomforting as it challenges the status quo of the dominant history that we have all been taught," she said.

With files from Lindsay Carroll