This notice is from the archives of The Notice Board. Information contained in this notice was accurate at the time of publication but may no longer be so.
Truth and Reconciliation Week at the University of Lethbridge took on added importance this past week. In the wake of a summer of painful revelations in respect to the uncovering of unmarked burial sites at former Indian Residential School locations, the stories of a dark past were thrust into the light for all to see.
As difficult as these discoveries were for Indigenous people, they were a necessary step forward in advancing much-needed conversations about truth. We hope everyone took some time to engage with the events offered during Truth and Reconciliation Week, and we thank everyone who came together to present the thoughtful, respectful and open discussions about our shared history.
We are not naïve to think we will change societal attitudes or rid ourselves of racism through one week of dialogue and reflection, but we hope we have planted seeds of change for the future. Truth is a starting point towards reconciliation, and for that, this week was essential in laying that foundation. We ask you to continue to listen to Indigenous knowledge keepers and to hear their stories with empathy.
If this week was the beginning of these conversations for you, then let it also not be an end. Allow open spaces for further discussions so that we may learn from each other, educate each other and support each other through these difficult times.
We all have the power to advance reconciliation. Continue to learn about Indigenous communities. Talk about Indigenous history in your homes, at school and at work. Why? Because it is our history. It is part of Canada’s history. We can all help to build supportive, inclusive and equitable spaces where everyone feels they belong. Volunteer and donate to initiatives that elevate the voices of Indigenous communities. Call out racism and injustices when you see it occurring.
We can be leaders in our communities, and together we can create a culture that advances reconciliation and healing.
Dr. Leroy Little Bear
Distinguished Niitsitapi Scholar, Special Advisor to the President
University of Lethbridge
Charles Weasel Head
University of Lethbridge
By honouring Indigenous residential school survivors, their families, and communities on National Truth and Reconciliation Day, some individuals may experience a series of reactions, including renewed trauma, grief and anger. There are resources available through the University, and within the community for students and employees to access support. To view these supports, visit the University’s TRC Week web page.
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