Commentary  In defence of QPIRG

An open letter

As opt-out season comes into full swing, KANATA, McGill’s Indigenous Studies community, wishes to speak out in support of QPIRG. As a working group, KANATA receives crucial support from QPIRG, giving us the ability to pursue our goal of the establishment of an Indigenous Studies community at McGill. Our group advocates for a minor program in Indigenous Studies. Most importantly, KANATA strives for the creation of a space and a medium through which relations between Native and non-Native persons can come together and build relationships of understanding, dialogue, and mutual respect on-campus, and with ripple effects off-campus.

At the centre of KANATA is the development and production of a student-led annual interdisciplinary academic journal. This publication enables students to discuss and explore ways in which knowledge can be manifested and applied in the world outside of the classroom. Though we hold a variety of fundraisers throughout the year (such as our famous chai tea and grilled cheese sales and well-attended open-mics), the support we receive from QPIRG is vital. With financial and web support from QPIRG, KANATA has developed a website which allows us to not only print our journal, but also make it available online. This has allowed the Indigenous Studies dialogue of McGill to be distributed and read across Canada and beyond.

As QPIRG working groups exist as autonomous organizations, KANATA is able to blossom and grow as we see fit. QPIRG allows KANATA to follow a direction that best suits our mandate.

In supporting QPIRG, you are supporting the work of KANATA and other equally worthwhile organizations doing valuable, concrete work in the McGill and Montreal community such as Campus Crops, Climate Justice Montreal, Greening McGill, Montreal Media Co-Op, Barrière Lake Solidarity, Qteam, and many more. We at KANATA ask that you continue to allow QPIRG, with its broad education and research mandate, assist us and the other QPIRG working groups in carrying out research and advocacy that is making a difference on our campus and beyond.

Derrick Lovell

U2 Canadian Studies

Vice President, KANATA

This letter was received January 26