Shé:kon, boozhoo, greetings and hello!
My name is Andrea and I am a second-year student majoring in Book and Media Studies, with minors in Indigenous Studies and Creative Expression and Society. I will be the First Nations House blogger for 2017/2018 and I am of the Upper Cayuga band and a member of Six Nations of the Grand River.
Originally, I grew up in Nevada and moved to the Niagara region at the awkward age of 11 where my father had been born before moving to the United States as a teenager. My great-grandfather spoke seven Indigenous languages and also attended the Anglican-run Mohawk Institute Residential School. Many of his children and grandchildren were or are currently involved in Indigenous initiatives aimed at improving the lives of First Nations people and the communities in which they reside, such as work with cultural and friendship centres, housing and law aid, along with writing and arts leadership. I want to carry on that tradition, so here I am, the blogger for First Nations House! I am currently taking Introduction to Indigenous Studies and Introduction to an Iroquoian Language where I am learning Mohawk, my family’s mother tongue.
I arrived to the University of Toronto as a mature student and First Nations House was my go-to resource. Adjusting to life as a university student can be difficult whether it’s finding information on financial aid, help with grants or bursary applications, navigating mental health and wellness services or simply finding the books you need at Robarts. (Speaking of which, I once got lost for 20 minutes trying to find my way out of the stacks!)
First Nations House has many resources to help both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students as well as an abundance of opportunities for students interested in Indigenous issues, languages and culture. There are many events offered throughout the year both on and off-campus.
Whether you want to come and learn new languages in a no-pressure, fun environment with Indigenous Language Games, attend a sci-fi convention featuring Black, Afrocentric and Indigenous speakers, artists and cosplayers (Click here for info on the Black Speculative Arts Movement) or simply stroll through Kahontake Kitikan Garden, a student-run traditional medicine garden near Hart House, there are a variety of activities and events for everyone.
As we gear up for 2017/2018, First Nations House is celebrating its 25th year at the University of Toronto. You can subscribe to the First Nations House listserv to keep you informed of exciting upcoming events (Click Here to E-mail First Nations House List Serv), and we look forward to meeting new faces and seeing familiar ones.
First Nations House Orientation and Open House is taking place on Friday, September 22nd at First Nations House. The orientation will begin at 11:00am on the third floor, followed by the annual Open House from 12:00pm to 2:00 in Turtle Lounge on the 2nd floor. Food and refreshments will be served. I would love to meet new and current students so please come say hi!
First Nations House is located at 563 Spadina Ave, on the second and third floors. There is an accessible entrance off of Bancroft Ave, and all are welcome.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to attend, and we look forward to a new year with you all!