KPU President Alan Davis released the following statement:
Like you, I have been deeply saddened and appalled by the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. We stand together with Indigenous community members at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and beyond as we hear of the awful news out of Kamloops.
At Kwantlen Polytechnic University, we work, study, and live in a region south of the Fraser River which overlaps with the traditional and ancestral lands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and SENĆOŦEN speaking peoples, including the Kwantlen who graciously bestowed their name on this university.
We offer our sympathy and solidarity to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, to all those who survived residential schools and to all the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
Today, we have lowered the flags at all our campuses until further notice in honour of every child found buried at Kamloops Indian Residential School. Further, we invite you all to join our colleagues in Teaching and Learning who will be holding a 2 minute 15 second period of silence at 2:15 p.m. today.
On the eve of National Aboriginal History Month, it is important for those of us who are settlers on this land to do more than simply acknowledge the profound loss of life. Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, Associate Vice President, Teaching and Learning, has recommended reading the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, if you haven’t already, as well as BCcampus’ Pulling Together Guides for Indigenization of Post-Secondary Institutions for instructors, front line staff, or administrators.
Our Indigenous Advisory Committee is meeting tomorrow and we will keep you appraised of any further initiatives arising out of that discussion.
We recognize that the news coming out of Kamloops will be devastating for many and there are resources and supports available to you, including:
- Indian Residential School Crisis Line (24/7 telephone support) emotional & crisis supports for former Residential School students 1-866-925-4419
- KUU-US Crisis Services (24/7 support) 1-800-KUU-US17 (1-800-588-8717) 1-833-MÉTIS-BC (1-833-638-4722) Adult/Elder: 1-250-723-4050
- Hope for Wellness (24/7 telephone and online) Mental health counselling and crisis intervention for Indigenous peoples 1-855-242-3310 Online chat:http://hopeforwellness.ca
- Kids Help Phone (24/7 telephone and text support) Professional counselling, information and referrals for youth 1-800-668-6868 or Text “First Nations” “Metis” or “Inuit” to: 686868
- Fraser Health Crisis Line (24/7 telephone support) Crisis intervention counselling, emotional support and information on local services 1-877-820-7444 or 604-951-8855
- Foundry Health and wellness supports, services and resources for youth aged 12 to 24 In-person: https://foundrybc.ca/get-support/find-a-centre/
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor