December 6, 2022
A permanent memorial was unveiled at UBC Okanagan today, in memory of the 14 women whose lives were lost in the École Polytechnique massacre.
On December 6, 1989, an armed man walked into an engineering class at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal. After forcing the men to leave, the gunman began shooting — killing 14 women and injuring 10 more.
In response to this tragedy, Canada established December 6 as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.
The new art installation, situated outside the Engineering Management and Education building, was unveiled as part of UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering 14 Not Forgotten ceremony. The memorial also honours the lives and legacies of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.
“The memorial will serve as a visible symbol of the School of Engineering and UBC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” said School of Engineering Director Dr. Will Hughes.
The piece, titled For Future Matriarchs, was created by internationally recognized Syilx artist Krista-Belle Stewart and Secwépemc artist Tania Willard, who is an assistant professor of visual arts in UBCO's creative studies department.
The artwork accommodates a fire that can be lit during the annual 14 Not Forgotten ceremony. This fire bowl uses symbolic design elements including the blue flag iris which is the floral emblem of Quebec, traditional plants for Syilx people and Interior Salish basketry aesthetics.
The piece was funded by the School of Engineering and will become part of the UBC Okanagan Public Art Collection.
Ceremonies are held each year at both UBC Vancouver and Okanagan campuses to remember the École Polytechnique victims and to re-commit to ending gender-based violence.