The smell of sage drifted through the air as I passed one of the classrooms dedicated to the CRE conference at Concordia University. Intrigued by a workshop titled “all my relations”, I sat in and heard from our discussion guide about the way languages meaning, interlacing English and a tongue I was not familiar with. Occasionally, our guide was interrupted by the beat of a drum resonating from a nearby classroom. At the end of the workshop, a group of young Inuit girls rushed to me whispering “there’s mattak in the Inuit room!”, narrowly missing my elbow as they hurried out the door.
I stopped and took a moment, smelling the lingering sweet smell of sage on my sweater. This is what decolonizing a university space can look like. How many more Indigenous students would there be in universities if the space was built for them to dance in their ribbon skirts and throat-sing as they walked the hallways?
This collage is a reflexion piece about decolonizing spaces, specifically universities.