The Queen's Conference on Indigenous Reconciliation is a student initiative with leaders from multiple Queen's faculties, most heavily representing Queen's Law students. We held our first conference in March of 2019.
Every year, we host a conference examining Reconciliation in business and in law, and all the other sites of Reconciliation in between. Our mandate is to further Reconciliation efforts in every and any way that we can, both in our academic and professional communities, and to make an active commitment to the TRC calls to action.
THE FIFTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Welcome to QCIR 2024, the 5th annual conference. This year, we’re talking about Innovative Collaboration.
How many times in these conversations have you heard phrases like “brought to the table” or “seat at the table” or any of the myriad of ways of saying: “who is being left out of these conversations that need the space to be heard”. In some spaces these remain valid questions, but when it comes to Reconciliation, we know who needs to be included, and who hasn't been. We know that the voices that have been excluded for too long are those of Indigenous people. What we want to start asking is: what do Indigenous people need in order to access decision making spaces, resource networks, and policy agendas, and how does that differ from community to community, or even person to person?
One of our core beliefs as an organization is that the path to Reconciliation will require deeper, more intentional, and diverse forms of collaboration. With this year’s theme being Innovative Collaboration, we are aiming to bring together an ever-broader range of speakers and attendees, and to deepen the ways that we connect. We hope that doing so will foster conversations on new ways of doing that bring us closer to actively practicing Reconciliation in our everyday lives, and that we will be able to fold together ideas of Reconciliation, business and law, and traditional practices and ways of knowing in a manner which may begin to answer the question: where do we go next on our path to Reconciliation?
As far as knowing where to start: we hope that you come to this conference and are able to show up in all of your uncertainty, and to bring your whole, undivided self. We hope that at this conference you are able to start and restart the same sentence a hundred different times, and still be okay with it not having come out in the perfect way. Use a thousand words to describe the same thing, use your hands to flesh out what you mean while you say it, and don’t be afraid of taking the time to use the word “uhm”. We still have many, many steps before we get to the undefined destination of ‘Reconciliation’ - if, of course, we can call it a destination at all - but we can’t let that distance scare us or exhaust us into not taking those steps.
Of course, we cannot collaborate if you do not come. We hope to see you there.
Before we were named the Queen’s Conference on Indigenous Reconciliation, we were inspired by and hailed from the documentary Reconciliation on Bay Street. In its first year, the conference hosted just under 100 delegates, and focused on top-down system change, rather than grassroots organization. This was done for two reasons: first, to demonstrate career paths to Bay Street for Indigenous students, and second, to host conversations on how the ideas of the ‘higher-ups’ directly affect the daily lives of those off of Bay Street.
From the beginning, the conference has focused on Reconciliation and building positive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in business and in law. Over time, and depending on the composition of our executive committee, the annual theme of our conference has changed to either be more focused on business or law, and recently has begun to look to broader horizons to seek Reconciliation in more areas of our everyday lives.
Whether you are a newcomer to these conversations, or you are already comfortable in this space, we believe you have something to offer and something to gain from this conference.
Where we're going
In 2023, we examined what it meant to be building Sustainable Reconciliation. This year, our theme will be Innovative Collaboration.
It is always our hope that our conference is a space where both Indigenous and non-Indigenous folks can come together to discuss what is needed in order to make our way on the path of Reconciliation. We do this by working hard to ensure that most if not all of our speakers are Indigenous, and only allowing Indigenous scholars, professionals, and experts to speak on the issues that effect them. Settler speakers are only invited to sit on panels and host lectures where the themes of their contribution are settler-centric, as in: what do settlers have to do to practice decolonization, how do we step back and make the space for Indigenous peoples, and how can we support their causes?
We have only just begun planning for our 2024 conference, but rest assured that we have big ideas about what events we'll be bringing to you this year. Check back for more information in September.
While we love welcoming as many of you as possible to the Conference in person, we have made the decision for our 2024 conference to keep a hybrid format. We thought it was great that all of you could tune in from coast to coast, and want to make that possible for another year.
Of course, the pandemic isn't over, different people have different needs, and we liked being able to host delegates from coast to coast. So this year, we'll be planning a hybrid conference, and you'll be able to choose how you attend. Meet us on or near campus, or through Zoom. As we get closer to the conference, we'll have more information on date and time, and ticket options.
What can we tell you for sure? We have a tech team eager and ready to make this conference the most accessible yet, and to do it as smoothly as possible. Have a couple questions? We're more than happy to answer what we can, so shoot us a message using the email link below, and we'll get back to you as soon as we have answers.
Meet the Team
We hold two rounds of applications for our executive teams each year: first in the spring at the end of the winter term, and second in September for the roles we don't fill in the spring. You can find the formal mandate for our club and each of our team members on the next page.
We're so excited to meet you all!