June 24, 2021
Today’s announcement about the discovery of 751 unmarked graves at the Marieval Indian Residential School is tragic and horrifying news. The Wilfrid Laurier University community joins the rest of Canada in grieving for these lost lives, and our thoughts are with the families and communities affected.
“This discovery should not be news to Canadians, as Indigenous families have reported these realities for generations, as did the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This truth must be heard before we can begin to move toward meaningful reconciliation. That means that we must all experience these tragic truths together as Indigenous and Settler communities if we are ever going to move forward together as a Nation.
“We must recognize the burden this evidence places upon Indigenous Peoples and communities as a result of the legacy of grief and trauma. We must also recognize the duty and responsibility of Canadians to hear this truth and experience the feelings and burden that Indigenous Peoples have been carrying through the years of Canada’s existence. This is the hard work of reconciliation; before we can ever change the narrative in Canada, we as a Nation must get on the same page in order to advance more positive Indigenous-Crown and Indigenous-Settler relations.”
- Darren Thomas, Associate Vice President: Indigenous Initiatives
Laurier’s flags will be lowered to half mast at sundown June 24 to honour the memories of these and too many other Indigenous children lost to the residential school system.
Supports and resources are available for students, staff, and faculty.
For staff and faculty:
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24 hrs/day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience. Indian Residential School survivors and family can call 1-866-925-4419.
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