Change the name of Sir John A. Macdonald Hall to Patricia Monture Hall, Queen's University
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This petition addresses the necessity of changing the name of Sir John A. Macdonald Hall at Queen's University to Patricia Monture Hall.
As remembered, Sir John A. Macdonald was instrumental in implementing such racist colonial enactments as: the Indian Act of 1871 that restrict and police Indigenous peoples while violating Indigenous self-determinacy, laws and relations to the land, created residential schools and the North West Mounted Police in 1873 (which became the RCMP) with the sole purpose of oppressing Indigenous nations, a starvation policy which forced Indigenous peoples out of the Prairies to build the railway, the execution of Louis Riel in 1885, the Electoral Franchise Act of 1885 that restricted the rights of Black, Indigenous, and racialized peoples' ability to vote, and the Chinese Immigration Act aka the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1885 which banned the majority of Chinese immigrants from entering Canada through the implementation of the Head Tax, separating family members from their relatives who arrived earlier as indentured labourers (particularly on the railways).
Rather than glorify such figures as Sir John A. Macdonald as exemplarary figures within Canadian state law, it is time to recognize important role models such as Queen's alumna and Mohawk lawyer, Patricia Monture (1958-2010).
In 1988, Aywahande (the one who speaks first or gets things going with words) Patricia Monture was instrumental in arguing that as a sovereign citizen or member of the Mohawk Nation within the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, she was not obliged to take an oath under Sections 4 and 5 of the Public Officers Act, R.S.O. 1980, c. 4 15 as amended, and Rules 53 (4) and 5 1 under the Law Society Act in Ontario but that the oath must be optional. Through Patricia Monture's actions, Indigenous people can now hold an eagle feather rather than swear on a bible in a court of law.
With consideration of the commitment that Queen's University's Law Department has made in educating law students in Indigenous laws and protocols and in accordance with the Two Row Wampum, Monture's work exemplifies such Two Row teachings.
According to recommendation no. 6 of the Yakwanastahentéha Aankenjigemi -- Extending the Rafters: Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force Final Report, it states:
"The university must create culturally validating spaces by incorporating Indigenous art in common spaces, including Indigenous languages on welcome signs, plaques, and building names, and integrating traditional Indigenous plants across the campus gardens to recognize and honour the territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe Peoples." (2018, 12)
Therefore, it is the responsibility of Queen's University to respect and respond to such recommendations by renaming the Faculty of Law building, befittingly. Renaming the Faculty of Law building, Patricia Monture Hall, would make this a "culturally validating" space which celebrates the positive impact Monture left behind, inspiring future law students, faculty, and the Queen's broader community including the city of Kingston, Ontario.
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