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Aboriginal Initiatives

Aboriginal Initiatives at ESU

The Enrichment Studies Unit (ESU) has partnered with Aboriginal organizations at Queen’s University to provide academic outreach programs geared for Aboriginal students.

Grade 7-8 Students

In 2014, we are offering two programs as part of our SEEDS-In-Residence program. Two courses have been designed specifically for grade 7-8 Aboriginal students, which will run alongside our other SEEDS-In-Residence courses. Students live in university residences, eat meals in the dining halls, and participate in evening extra-curricular activities with several hundred other students from across Ontario and beyond. You can find out more about the SEEDS-In-Residence program by clicking here. There is NO COST for Aboriginal students, however SPACE IS LIMITED. Please note that each of the courses below are offered in different weeks.

EngWAY Engineering Week for Aboriginal Youth

May 20-23, 2014

Presented by ESU and Aboriginal Access to Engineering, a program of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Course title: Ancestral Engineering and Modern Applications

Since time immemorial, Aboriginal peoples have been working to solve the engineering problems facing their societies.  The same is true today! Did you know that engineers work in many different fields, from construction and transportation to medicine and computing?  All engineers have things in common though – they must be able to think critically about the problems they face and design creative solutions to solve them.  In Ancestral Engineering and Modern Applications, students will be involved in an interactive and hands-on introduction to the engineering profession. They will learn the basic principles of engineering design and work together to find solutions in a culturally sensitive environment.

Instructor: Martin Noël received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba in 2009 before obtaining a PhD in Structural Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 2013.  He now works as a post-doctoral fellow at Queen’s University.  His research interests include the use of innovative and sustainable materials for reinforced and pre-stressed concrete applications as well as structural health monitoring.  Martin has taught engineering courses at both the University of Waterloo and Queen’s University.  In addition to his research and teaching, Martin coordinates a multidisciplinary training program for engineering graduate students focusing on sustainable engineering in remote areas with an emphasis on Aboriginal issues such as culture, policy and history.

MedWAY Medicine Week for Aboriginal Youth

May 27-30, 2014

Presented by ESU and MedExplore, a volunteer outreach organization run by Queen’s University School of Medicine students.

Course Title: Applications of Medicine in Aboriginal Communities

Community health is important to all communities, including Aboriginal ones, where modern medicine often meets traditional healing. In this course provided by Med Explore medical school volunteers, students will explore the world of healthcare. This will include a tour of New Medical Building’s Anatomy Museum and the Healthcare Museum. As an inter-professional group of students, we have gathered guest speakers from different occupations such as nursing, midwifery, occupational and physical therapy, as well as alternative medicine. Interactive sessions include a technical skills workshop where we will be doing casting and vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate. And we will be engaging in a Wilderness medicine session where students will learn practical skills such as splinting and bandaging when in a rural situation. We will also hear from local Indigenous students and their experiences at University.

Instructors: This course is taught by graduate and professional students in the School of Medicine who volunteer for MedExplore, a non-profit medicine outreach organization. They are being supported by professors and staff within the School of Medicine and the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Science.

How to apply for EngWAY or MedWAY

  1. Contact your school counsellor to get permission to attend, and inquire if the school is sending students
  2. Complete the electronic registration form and submit it as instructed on the form. Click here to open the form: Aboriginal Registration Form 2014
  3. Deadline for registrations April 23, 2014
  4. Confirmation will be sent to you by April 30, 2014




NEW Grade 7 & 8 Enbridge Bursary

Thanks to a new generous donation from Enbridge to the Enrichment Studies Unit (ESU) at Queen’s University, we are pleased to offer a full bursary for Aboriginal students in grades 7-8, in select communities served by Enbridge, who are interested in attending the SEEDS-In-Residence program at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ontario. The bursary covers the cost of tuition, course supplies, workshops, accommodation, meals, and activities (a value of $485) plus an additional amount of $300 towards travel and related costs. Two specialized courses are available to select from: Engineering and Medicine.  Full details can be read here:  Enbridge Full Details

Two students from each of the following three communities where Enbridge operates are eligible for the bursary:

• Walpole Island

• Six Nations of the Grand River

• Mohawk Council of the Kahnawake

Bursary Application and Registration Deadline April 23, 2014

In order to apply, complete the application, available here: Aboriginal Enbridge Application


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Grade 9-12 students

In 2014, we are not offering specific Aboriginal courses for high school students, but we have a bursary available for bright Aboriginal students who want to take part in our academically challenging Enrichment Mini-Course (EMC) program for high school students. Students live in university residences, eat meals in the dining halls, and participate in evening extra-curricular activities with several hundred other students from across Ontario and beyond.

Aboriginal Engineering ESU Bursary Fund

The Enrichment Studies Unit (ESU) and Aboriginal Access to Engineering (AAE) at Queen’s University are pleased to be able to provide financial support for Aboriginal students wishing to attend the Enrichment Mini-Course (EMC) Programs offered by ESU during the spring of 2014, through the Aboriginal Engineering ESU Bursary Fund. Bursaries cover the cost of the program registration, but do not include any funding for travel, personal expenses or other unrelated costs.  Only Engineering related EMC courses are eligible for this award.  There are 8 awards available.  Please see the application page for further instruction and more details: Aboriginal Engineering Student Bursary




Last Year:

May 14 to 17, 2013


The 2013 Program has occurred and was lots of fun!  We welcomed groups from several different communities across Ontario and were able to fill all 60 spaces and had to start a waiting list!  Stay tuned for information about future programs!



The Enrichment Studies Unit, Aboriginal Access to Engineering and Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre at Queen’s University are excited to bring you the Aboriginal University Experience!

This program was created for Aboriginal students in grades 7 to 12 and was designed to give a sneak peak into the life of a university student.

What can you expect:

  • Study an academic course taught by caring and passionate graduate students in state-of-the-art facilities on campus.
  • Live in a typical university residence
  • Eat your meals in the university cafeteria
  • Tour campus facilities
  • Participate in special Aboriginal focused events with Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre
  • Take part in extra-curricular activities in the evenings
  • Be supervised by Queen’s undergraduate students
  • Enjoy the freedom to interact and learn in an environment conducive to your level of development while having tonnes of fun!