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“We did not simply reject the document” Queen’s University responds to allegations it ignored false claims of Indigenous identity

Queen’s University has responded to allegations that it ignored false claims of Indigenous identity among its faculty and staff. The response comes after dozens of academics across North America spoke out about the university’s quick response. 

“Queen’s takes the issue of Indigenous Identity very seriously, and in fact agrees with many of the challenges facing Indigenous communities outlined in the Collective Indigenous Scholars’ Statement on Identity and Institutional Accountability letter of June 14th, signed by a number of respected national Indigenous scholars,” said the University in a statement on Tuesday. 

The university that asserts membership in an indigenous community is a matter of integrity and reciprocity and not necessary a “matter of blood quantum,” a quote which according to the university, is also acknowledged by the letter asking for institutional accountability.

Queen’s University says it is privy to “authentic personal records” which allowed it to assess and determine that the report has cited erroneous and ignored facts.

In contrast to its previous letter rejecting the allegations of false identity, the university says it “encourages this inquiry and supports the continuation of respectful Indigenous processes that include meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities.”

The letter asking Queen’s University to retract its original statement included prominent Indigenous academics such as Pamela Palmater, chairwoman in Indigenous governance at Ryerson University, and Kim TallBear, with the University of Alberta and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples.

Academics and Indigenous scholars remain concerned that using the “honour system” when it comes to verifying the legitimacy of claims made by any faculty, staff or student claiming to be Indigenous is unacceptable.

YGK News has not yet been able to verify claims made in the report.

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