The discovery of the remains of 215 children in a mass grave site at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School is a horrific reminder of the human cost of settler colonialism. The Students’ Union acknowledges the inter-generational trauma inflicted by this cultural genocide and the unimaginable pain and suffering of the families whose loved ones were taken from them.
As an organization, we have failed to adequately meet the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action. The Students’ Union commits to working with greater urgency on issues of Indigenous student access to post-secondary education, the inclusion of language preservation courses, and the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms.
In this moment of stark reflection, we would like to bring awareness to the resources and supports available to Indigenous students, staff, and faculty both on campus at Wilfrid Laurier University and in the broader community:
- Student Wellness Centre – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brantford Campus: 519-756-8228 x5803
- Waterloo Campus: 519-884-0710 x3146
- Indigenous Student Centre – Indigenous@wlu.ca
- A Healing Circle for help processing feelings of grief and other emotions will be held on June 9, 2021 with Indigenous Counsellor Robert Simms (Zoom Meeting ID: 954 6113 9956; Passcode: 592532)
- The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line, available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience
- 1-866-925-4419 (toll-free)
- The Hope for Wellness Help Line, available 24 hours a day for Indigenous people in need of immediate help, counselling, and crisis intervention – hopeforwellness.ca
- 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free)
The Students’ Union would also like to amplify the efforts of the Save the Evidence campaign in Brantford, an initiative to raise awareness and financial support for the restoration of the former Mohawk Institution Residential School into an Interpreted Historical Site and Educational Resource.
Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union