Queen’s University, like all universities in Canada, is a racist, settler colonial, and anti-Black institution. In classes on campus, students and faculty work within physical spaces that are funded by corporations whose investments contradict the university’s recent moves to innocence in regards to “decolonization,” “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion.” This dynamic recently manifested at the Queen’s Global Energy Conference (QGEC), where invited speakers included Jawad Masud, the Vice President of Corporate Communications at TransCanda Energy and Adam Fellows, Director of Energy in Capital Markets at CIBC. In response to QGEC, a group of organizers planned a Kingston march in solidarity with the land defenders at Wet’suwet’en that interrupted the conference speakers.
As students and faculty at Queen’s, we want to continue supporting land defenders, and intervening on Queen’s’ material support of settler colonialism. As part of this intervention, we are organizing a fundraiser to autonomously divest our psychic and financial resources from Queen’s University to Unist’ot’en camp. While we recognize that we are implicated in Queen’s genocidal projects, we know that we are more powerful than our relationship to the university. The university tries to triangulate our intimacies, and we continue to refuse its violent entanglements.
Financial support is one of the most immediate ways that we can contribute to land defenders at this time. We call on Queen’s students, faculty and staff to join us in re-directing the resources that Queen’s gives us access to (money) to real decolonial projects, such as Indigenous land defense and protection of all kin formations. We know that this fundraiser is a very minimal part of a larger struggle against Queen’s.