As we reflect on the recent discovery of a mass grave with the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, we are deeply saddened.
This discovery reminds us all of the long road ahead, and how much we still must learn about the horrible, deliberate actions that occurred across this country as part of colonization. This recent discovery also reminds us of the more than 150,000 Indigenous children who were forced to attend residential school.
As a post-secondary educational institution, it is our responsibility to educate, recognize, and honour the truth of Canada's relationship with Indigenous Peoples. Lakehead University is committed to reconciliation and we will continue our way forward with Indigenous communities and leadership.
In honour of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation children who were found, as well as their families, communities, and those across the country who have survived or lost loved ones, the flags at Lakehead University have been lowered to half-mast today, and they will remain so until June 8 — one hour for each of the 215 children found.
Lakehead's Office of Indigenous Initiatives also invites us to consider wearing an orange shirt anytime between now and June 8.
Dr. Moira McPherson
President and Vice-Chancellor