The School of Communication Sciences and Disorders is situated on the traditional territory of the Kanien'kehà:ka, a place which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous Peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe nations. We recognize and respect these nations as the traditional custodians of the lands and waters on which our school is located.
In past years, the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders (SCSD) has been able to collaborate with different Indigenous Communities in Quebec.
Most recently, the SCSD started a collaboration with the Kahnawà:ke Education Centre. This collaboration created many exciting clinical placements for our graduate students. Placements were organized within the Kahnawà:ke Survival School and Kateri Elementary School, and gave our graduate students an amazing opportunity to work with Indigenous children and youth, while at the same time learning about Indigenous history and culture. The focus of these placements has been on reading and writing development as well as speech and language development. We are excited to announce that this collaboration is ongoing and more students will be able to engage in these wonderful opportunities in the future.
In past years, similar collaborations were created with initiatives on Eeyou Istchee (Cree territory), in collaboration with the Cree Board of Health & Social Services of James Bay as well as with the Cree School Board. These initiatives involved collaboration and educational exchanges with daycare educators on speech and language development, speech and language screenings for preschoolers, material development for language stimulation within the daycare classroom, reading and writing assessments for high school students, etc.
Over time, several of our SCSD’s graduates have worked and some continue to work with Indigenous communities. The SCSD’s clinical education program continues to collaborate, support and consult with some of these graduates, trying to address challenges like high staff turnover, lack of culturally appropriate resources, and how to adapt service delivery models to best fit the needs of the communities (considering that some of these communities are very remote).
The SCSD has seen several Indigenous students pass through their graduate program over the past years and understands the importance of increasing the diversity of the members of the SLP profession and correcting inequities. By having regular opportunities for SCSD students to do practica in Indigenous communities and creating more awareness for our field of practice through different endeavors, including the Eagle Spirit Science Futures Camp hosted at McGill each year, the SCSD hopes to entice more young Indigenous individuals to consider a career in Speech Language Pathology.
We want to express our sincere gratitude to the Kanien'kehà:ka community in Kahnawà:ke as well as Cree communities in the James Bay region for their support to our program and their continuous welcoming of our students in their communities.