Sept. 22, 2023Print | PDF
The residential school’s crisis line is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of a residential school experience. Support is available at 1.866.925.4419.
Dear Laurier community,
As we approach the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, it is important that we reflect on the tragic history and ongoing impacts of residential schools in Canada. This is a solemn day to honour those First Nations, Inuit and Métis lost, and survivors of, Canada’s residential schools.
Universities are a place where people of all backgrounds come together in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding, and as members of a university community, we have an important role to play in furthering truth and reconciliation work.
There are a number of ways you can engage in education and show support for those lost and survivors in the coming week:
• Spend time in reflection and education. Laurier has a curated web hub of content that links to learning materials and shares updates about the scholarship and work happening at the university in support of truth and reconciliation.
• Attend the unveiling of the Laurier Library Indigenous Mural on the Waterloo campus on Sept. 28. The mural project is a community collaboration led by Ojibwe artist Michael Cywink, the Laurier Library and Office of Indigenous Initiatives.
• The Office of Indigenous Initiatives, in collaboration with the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union and Graduate Students Association, invite the Laurier community to participate in ribbon tying displays on the Waterloo campus on Sept. 28, starting at 3:30 p.m. in the area between the southwest wall of the Laurier Library and Martin Luther University Campus. Seven trees have been selected for the ribbon tying displays to represent the Seven Grandfather Teachings. These ribbon displays will commemorate those lost and the survivors of the residential school system. The displays will stay up until Oct. 4, the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, gender-diverse, two-spirit and transgender people.
• Wear an orange shirt. Orange shirts are available for purchase at the Hawk Shops on both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses. The design on the orange shirts was created by Maggie Allan, campus and community engagement coordinator in the Office of Indigenous Initiatives. Proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go towards the Woodland Cultural Centre Indigenous Preservation Museum.
The university will also be lowering flags on both campuses on Sept. 30, to recognize this national day of mourning.
Sept. 30 can be a difficult day for colleagues and friends who may be survivors themselves, or have family members or friends who are survivors. We ask that you give care and consideration to Indigenous community members in the coming week.
We recognize there is significant work to still be done and are grateful to the many people at Laurier who engage in truth and reconciliation work, through scholarship, continuing education, and advocacy.
Darren Thomas, associate vice-president: Indigenous Initiatives
Heidi Northwood, provost and vice-president: academic
Deborah MacLatchy, president and vice-chancellor