A message to our community on the discovery of a mass grave of Indigenous children in Kamloops

Students, faculty, staff and family painted the cairn, as we mourn the 215 children discovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Students and staff applied 215 handprints to the cairn, as we mourn the 215 children discovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
 
Dear Applied Science community,
 
Our hearts are with all those mourning the 215 young lives lost at the Kamloops Indian Residential School: an institution which closed as recently as 1978 — within many of our lifetimes.
 
We echo UBC’s Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (Aki-Kwe), director of the Residential School History and Dialogue Centre and professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law’s compelling call for us to channel our grief into action. Professor Turpel-Lafond draws our attention to these truths: Indigenous peoples in Canada have suffered racism, genocide, loss of statehood, loss of economic opportunity, and loss of basic human rights. We are duty-bound to heed the solutions offered by Indigenous people, such as those recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Report, and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People.
 
Let us reflect on Canada’s promises to do better and act. Join us in wearing orange shirts Monday, May 31 to honour those young lives lost, to show allyship with the survivors, and to consider how each of us can take action to break from the past. Let us remember how as settlers, white and racialized alike, we benefit every day from the unceded Indigenous territories we live and work on.
 
 
Learn more about orange shirt day.
 
I encourage you to also read President Santa Ono’s statement.
 
Sincerely,
 
James Olson
PhD, FCAE , P.Eng.
Dean, Faculty of Applied Science
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