Welcome to the First Peoples' House
The mark of a truly sophisticated civilization is its ability to adapt to change. These words reflect the resilience of Indigenous people before and since European contact. Education is one of many keys to our survival into the new millennium. In fact, Indigenous students who have graduated from McGill attest to this fact. Dedication and perseverance have enabled McGill Indigenous graduates to attain their goals and perhaps the realization that "they will emerge with their hands held forward to grasp the place in society that is rightfully theirs" (the late Chief Dan George).
However, in order to keep our sense of identity within a large post-secondary institution, we must not forget our roots, our language, customs, traditions and teachings of our ancestors. We must remain true to those teachings and respect one another's differences. As Indigenous people emerge from the darkness of oppression, we look to the future that we hope is full of light and freedom to control our own destinies. An academic education based on contemporary teachings, combined with our own ancestral knowledge, will allow us to "emerge with our hands held forward" into a promising future. As our Elders tell us, "We are always learning till the day we die!"