At Kwantlen Polytechnic University, we work, study, and live in a region south of the Fraser River which overlaps with the traditional and ancestral lands of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and SENĆOŦEN speaking peoples, including the Kwantlen who graciously bestowed their name on this university.
We feel a profound and deep sadness over the discovery of children found in unmarked burial sites at residential schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Flags at all our campuses remain lowered until further notice in honour of every child found.
More discoveries like this are likely to emerge over the coming months and years as the long told truths of residential school survivors are finally heard and investigated. We will continue to stand together with Indigenous communities as this painful process takes place.
For the Indigenous Community
We recognize the devastating impact caused by the tragic loss of so many children and encourage you to seek support if you need it:
- Indian Residential School Crisis Line (24/7 telephone support) emotional & crisis supports for former Residential School students 1-866-925-4419
- Indian Residential School Survivors Society, phone: 1 800 721-0066 or 604 985-4464
- KUU-US Crisis Services (24/7 support) 1-800-KUU-US17 (1-800-588-8717) 1-833-MÉTIS-BC (1-833-638-4722) Adult/Elder: 1-250-723-4050
- Hope for Wellness (24/7 telephone and online) Mental health counselling and crisis intervention for Indigenous peoples 1-855-242-3310 Online chat: http://hopeforwellness.ca
- The Métis Crisis Line for Métis people in B.C., available 24 hours a day at 1 833 Métis BC: 1 833 638-4722
- Tsow Tun Le Lum for Indigenous peoples in B.C., phone: 1 888 403-3123
- Fraser Health Crisis Line (24/7 telephone support) Crisis intervention counselling, emotional support and information on local services 1-877-820-7444 or 604-951-8855
- Kids Help Phone (24/7 telephone and text support) Professional counselling, information and referrals for youth 1-800-668-6868 or Text "First Nations" "Metis" or "Inuit" to: 686868
- Foundry Health and wellness supports, services and resources for youth aged 12 to 24 In-person: https://foundrybc.ca/get-support/find-a-centre/
For Indigenous Faculty and Staff
We encourage faculty and staff to access support from the resources listed above, as well as through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).
Commissioned by the TRC in 2009, the Bentwood Box travelled with the TRC to its eight national events throughout Canada, where people placed personal items into the box to symbolize their journey toward healing and expressions of reconciliation.
Coast Salish artist Luke Marston steamed, bent, and carved the box in the traditional style from a single piece of sacred, old growth red cedar. The artistic styles and imagery in its carved panels represent the distinct cultures of former First Nations, Inuit and Métis residential school students.
After its travels with the TRC, the Bentwood Box was featured at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in an exhibit on Truth and Reconciliation. It is now in its permanent residence at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) where it continues to be a symbol of hope.
Photo: National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Learning About Residential Schools
It is important for those of us who are settlers on this land to do more than simply acknowledge the profound loss of life. Dr. Rajiv Jhangiani, Associate Vice President, Teaching and Learning, has recommended reading the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, if you haven't already, as well as BCcampus' Pulling Together Guides for Indigenization of Post-Secondary Institutions for instructors, front line staff, or administrators.
Education is the key to helping us come to terms with the injustices of our past and we encourage you, and all Canadians, to learn more about residential schools: