Residential School Tragedy – Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan

As you are likely aware, the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan is facing the heartbreaking discovery of 751 unmarked graves located at old Marieval Indian Residential School east of Regina. This follows last month’s discovery of the remains of hundreds of Indigenous children at a former Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and other unmarked graves at other schools.

I would like to acknowledge the trauma that many Indigenous people are feeling and though I cannot understand the weight of this knowledge, I pledge to do what I can to support and advance the BCIT Indigenous Vision. I ask that you continue to do the same.

As Indigenous Awareness month comes to a close at the end of June, I want to reiterate BCIT’s commitment to educating ourselves and others on the reality of Canada’s colonial history, decolonization, Indigenization, as well as the reality for Indigenous people today – so that true Reconciliation can begin.

BCIT Indigenous Initiatives has released a number of resources in support of Indigenous Awareness month that are available to educate BCIT staff, faculty, and students. Resources include the free Indigenization 101 course available to the BCIT community. There is also a series of video interviews from Residential School survivors posted in the Week 3 section of the website. Listening to the stories and experiences of survivors can help us better understand and support those who have been impacted.

As a reminder, if you are experiencing pain or distress at this time we encourage you to access the support resources below.

I know that this is an incredibly traumatic time for communities across the country and we stand by you. I encourage everyone to take time to heal as well as remember the lives that have been lost.


Kathy Kinloch
President, BCIT

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