Indigenous Student Orientation
Jilasi. Welcome to our new Dalhousie Students
Join us for an exciting week of orientation events for all Indigenous students! We have a variety of cultural and educational events planned for Orientation Week and even more Welcoming Events in the weeks following orientation.
What to expect
- Meet the ISC staff and Elder in Residence
- Learn about services and resources available to you
- Academic support and financial budgeting workshops
- Outdoor activities in our Teepee
- Crafts, Powwow & storytelling
- Meet other Indigenous students and Dal community
Indigenous Orientation Week Schedule
Check out our list of scheduled events for Orientation week and the welcoming events that will follow later in the term. Please note: event dates and times may be subject to change.
Sunday, Sept 1
Welcoming Ceremony and Honoring Sacred Water Canoeing
10am – 2pm | Meet at Saint Mary’s Boat Club
Join us with Art Stevens (from Dalhousie Agricultural campus in Truro) and Raymond Sewell (from Saint Mary’s University) for a ceremony and blessing of Orientation week and welcoming of Indigenous students from Dalhousie University, Dalhousie’s Agricultural Campus and St. Mary’s University. (Rain or Shine event)
Everyone participating in this event will need a photo I.D. to register and to rent a canoe for free.
You are also required to sign waiver forms (copies will be available at the event). However, if you are under 18 years of age, you must print, complete and get a parent/guardian to sign the waiver to allow you to canoe. Make sure to bring this paperwork with you so you can participate.
Passing of the Feather
After the Canoe event, Linda Denny (Dalhousie ISC) will pass the feather to the one of the students and explain the passing of the feather exercise.
Tuesday, Sept 3
Raising of Teepee (Teaching) with Elder Gary Joseph and Elder Billy Lewis
Starts at 9 am (Please drop in at any time during the day) | Indigenous Student Centre (ISC)
Meet your ISC Staff and Elders in Residence. Elder Billy will perform a blessing by smudging the centre and participants. Learn more about Teepee raising here and please read about Teepee etiquette before you arrive.
After the raising of the Teepee, a Sacred Pipe Ceremony (with Elder Gary Joseph) will take place and Feast to follow
Read about ceremonial protocol here.
Wednesday, Sept 4
Stay on Track presentation (Cheyenne Henry)
Session One | 9 am – 12 pm
Session Two | 1:30 pm – 4 pm
Lunch and meet Student Representatives from Dalhousie's Indigenous Law Students' Association and Dalhousie Student Union
12pm | at the ISC
Scavenger Hunt (Plant and element cards) and Learning Circle exercise
All day | at ISC
Identify plants in 5 keys areas on campus for a chance to win prizes. Prizes to be won for those who participate and complete this fun, learning event! Come to the centre for instructions of the scavenger hunt and pass in your cards to be placed in a draw.
Thursday, Sept 5
Feel free to bring your dresses and shirts for ribbons, faceless dolls & medicine bundles. Those playing Waltes can win $50 on your DalCard.
Would you like to have a Spirit Name?
6 pm | At the Indigenous Student Centre (ISC)
Meet Elder Gary Joseph to prepare for the Naming Ceremony, followed by Taking down of Teepee.
Friday, Sept 6
Saturday, Sept 7
Sweat Lodge Ceremony (Michael Adzich)
1:30 pm | Meet at the Indigenous Student Centre (ISC) to depart for MacDonald Beach.
Meet senior Dalhousie students and participate in a Q&A with William Johnson.
Everyone particpating in this event must complete and sign this waiver.
If you are under 18 years of age, you must complete and get a parent/guardian to sign to give you permission to participate.
Other welcoming events after Orientation week
|Wednesday, Sept 11||12-3pm
Office of the Burke Building (next to the Student Centre).
Rain location Loyola L290 Saint Mary's University
|Saint Mary's Powwow
An afternoon of drumming, singing, praying, eating, and meeting with friends. All students welcome to take part in this L'nu celebration.
|Thursday, Sept 12||1-4pm, Meet at ISC||
Library Orientation & Tour
An Indigenous pop-up library will be set-up at the ISC followed by a tour of the Killam library.
|Friday, Sept 13||9am–4pm, ISC||Healing and Wellness Day Friday
Meet with Jonnie-Lynn Baron one-on-one
|Thursday, Sept 19||9am–4pm, ISC||Nutrition Planning (all day)
Come to the ISC to pick up some free healthy foods. Learn tips about healthy eating and pick up indigenous recipes.
|Sept 23-27||All day (9am–4pm), ISC||
Faceless dolls (Commemoration of Missing Indigenous Women and Girls)
|Monday, Sept 30||TBC | ISC||Storytelling contest
Students can win $50 on their Dalcard by sharing myths and stories in the Wigwam space that the powwow committee will be providing.
|10am Studley Quad||Powwow on Dalhousie Studley Campus|
|All day, everywhere!||Orange Shirt Day
Wear an orange shirt to class to commemorate the thousands of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children who were removed from their homes at this time of the year and forced to attend residential schools.
DILSA will be selling Orange T”shirts at their booth during the Powwow.
|Tuesday, Oct 1||All day. Downtown Halifax||Treaty Day Celebrations
Aboriginal Traditional and Ecological Knowledge stories and myths.
|3pm, ISC||“Two Eyed Seeing” with Gerald Gloade|
|All day, ISC||Make Faceless dolls
In commemoration of Sisters in Spirit, join the Elders in Residence and the ISC staff at the Centre to make some “faceless dolls”.
|Wednesday, Oct 9||3–4pm, ISC||Decolonization teaching with Patti Bedwell-Doyle|
Stitching Circle with Lisa Binkley
Join us for open stitching and conversation. All forms of neddlework and crafts are welcome. No experience necessary. Bring your own project or supplies available.