McMASTER FIRST NATIONS STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
The McMaster First Nations Students Association (MFNSA) was formed in 1989. The group started on campus with the goal to raise awareness about Indigenous issues. Over the years, MFNSA has hosted and helped to organize various events, both on and off campus, surrounding Indigenous social, cultural and political life.
Currently, MFNSA is a working group through the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG). Often working in collaboration with the Indigenous Studies Program, MFNSA also works with other programs, student clubs like OLAS (Organization of Latin American Students) and other OPIRG working groups.
Along with the promotion of Indigenous cultures and issues, MFNSA also tries to give back to Indigenous communities and other worthy causes. Since its inception, the group has held an Annual Christmas Toy Drive. For the past three years (2009 to 2011), MFNSA has donated all proceeds to Native organizations in Hamilton. During December of 2011, the group helped to host a clothing drive and donated all items to the First Nations community of Attawapiskat. MFNSA has also hosted information and bake sale tables collecting donations for causes in nearby communities like Six Nations. During 2011, we helped fundraise for the Six Nations Health Foundation to aid them in raising money to purchase new dialysis machines.
Some of MFNSA's previous events include: pot lucks with Indigenous leaders and academics (e.g. Elijah Harper, Taiaiake Alfred, and Tonya Gonnella Frichner), cultural workshops featuring Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabe traditions (e.g. beading, moccasin making, and traditional cooking), the Welcoming Powwow, Haudenosaunee socials, and Indigenous film nights along with political and social activism about Indigenous issues.
- To provide a peer support system geared toward Indigenous students at McMaster University
- To act as a bridge to McMaster and the Hamilton community
- To act as a liaison between Indigenous high school students and McMaster University
- To promote and encourage post-secondary education
- To improve the image of Indigenous people at McMaster and increase awareness of Indigenous issues
- To provide extracurricular social activities, resources and alternative learning experiences for students at McMaster
Frequently Asked Question
Yup, you read that right. Our most FAQ is, "Do you have to be Native, First Nations, Indigenous or Aboriginal to join MFNSA?" Well, we're here to tell you no. We welcome any interested students, regardless of their background or chosen field of studies, to be a part of our group! If you are interested in joining the group, would like to be added to our emailing list or would like more information please feel free to contact us any time! We look forward to hearing from you :)
Christa Jonathan, President 2012/2013
Christa Jonathan was born in Brantford, Ontario. She is a member of the Mohawk Nation, Bear Clan from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. In 2012, Christa was named a Six Nations Community Youth Role Model. She graduated from Assumption College School in 2011. She was on honor roll all throughout high school, and was on many committees, including student council. At graduation, she received the Aboriginal Leadership Award, the Brian Sullivan Scholarship, Specialist High Skills Major in Health Care, Ontario Scholars, and the Assumption College Lion Award. Christa is now in her second year at McMaster, working towards an Honours B.A. in Sociology, with a minor in Indigenous Studies. Her goal for the future is to become a doctor so she can help her community.
Christa was an active member of the McMaster First Nations Students Association in her first year. She was able to balance her commitment to MFNSA, along with her full course load and job during the school year, even though she went through some barriers. She believes that she could not have done it without the support of her family and friends, and everyone at the ISP office. Christa is very excited to be working with her friends as executive members for MFNSA and is looking forward to her second year at McMaster University.
Carrie McMullin, Vice-President 2012/2013
Carrie McMullin was born and raised in Hamilton Ontario. Carrie began her McMaster undergrad journey in 2010, and is now registered in the combined Honours Cultural Studies and History program, with a minor in Indigenous Studies. Carrie is focusing her studies on Pre-Confederation Canadian History and race and representation in media and culture. Carrie is a recent honours graduate of Mohawk College’s Television Broadcasting and Communications Media program with more than five years experience in local television production, and this experience informs her desire to learn more about the construction of culture through media.
An active member of MFNSA throughout her first two years, Carrie is the outgoing Secretary for the 2011-2012 school year and will be holding the position of Vice President in 2012-2013. Taking on a full time undergrad course load has been a challenge as an adult student, and Carrie could not be so successful without the support of her husband and family, and the peer support of those in MFNSA and the ISP office. Carrie is a proud daughter, sister, aunt and wife, and loves music and literature, video and media arts and crafting, and is looking forward to another great year with the McMaster First Nations Students Association.
Gasenneeyoh Crawford, Communications Liaison 2012/2013
Born in Brantford Ontario, Gasenneeyoh Crawford is a member of the Cayuga Nation, Wolf Clan from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She completed the Native University Program at Six Nations Polytechnic before her acceptance to McMaster University. Currently, she is working toward an Honours Sociology B.A. with a minor in Indigenous Studies. During the past few years at McMaster, Gasenneeyoh has been an executive member of the McMaster First Nations Students Association (MFNSA) and is excited be serving as the Communications Liaison for the 2012-2013 academic year. Although she did not plan to attend McMaster University, she says that she would not change a thing, as the people she has met and the experiences she has gained will remain with her always. Lastly, Gasenneeyoh also states that she would not be where she is today without the constant support, guidance and laughs from her friends and family at home and in MFNSA, along with the staff and faculty at the Indigenous Studies Program.
Brianna Robinson, Treasurer 2012/2013
Brianna is an ally from Brampton, Ontario and is pursuing her BA in Philosophy with a minor in Indigenous Studies. Coming to McMaster with an interest in political philosophy and Canadian history, Brianna found Indigenous Studies classes to be the most challenging and educational of all her subjects. In her first year of Indigenous Studies, she joined MFNSA as a way to learn about activism at Mac and in the surrounding community, and she's stayed ever since because of the lovely friends that she's made.
Brianna hopes to educate other settler-descendants about Canadian history and to promote the idea that First Nations should not have to stand alone in seeking justice. She's excited to be part of the executive this year, and really hopes that she doesn't lose all the money. Just kidding.
Facebook ~MFNSA@MAC~ and MFNSA
Tel: 905.525.9140 ext. 27637
Hamilton Hall 103/C
1280 Main St West
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1