The creation of the ISC and the new Indigenous voice on campus is a huge step forward for Concordia. Currently, only eighty students have self-identified as Indigenous students. That is an incredibly small amount for an institution who has more than two thousand people attending. With the building of the Indigenous center and the new council, Dr. Tim Loreman states that he hopes to see the Indigenous community grow at Concordia. Right now, the percentage of people who are Indigenous at Concordia is five percent. By 2021 Dr. Loreman wants to see that percent grow by seven. With the introduction of the Indigenous center and the ISC, the group wants to see a wider variety of classes that teach Indigenous language as well as history and even literature. As an English major, I would love to take a class studying Indigenous literature, as it reaches far into the past and creates a strong sense of self for others like me.
The main focus of the ISC and the Indigenous center is to create a strong sense of community for self-identified Indigenous. It is with high hopes that we wish to see a strong and prospering Indigenous community integrating with the whole student body of Concordia. The ISC does not want to close its doors to people who are not Indigenous. Instead we are welcoming to everyone. We want people to explore and learn about Indigenous heritage.
For some of us, reaching the point of loving our heritage and loving who we are because of our heritage is a long journey. It is not easy to be a part of a place where you have no community. When meeting with other people who are proud of themselves and proud of their ancestry, it helps to strengthen and solidify your own identity, because suddenly you are not alone. This is our aim as the ISC. We want to be a community for all. We want to be the group and the place that allows people to develop their sense of pride and sense of self. Ultimately, we want to see more people becoming proud of their Indigenous heritage.
by Alexa Larocque