Kwantlen Polytechnic University Students Speak Out About Canada’s Residential School System

Tue, Mar 15, 2011



For immediate release

Kwantlen Polytechnic University Students Speak Out About Canada's Residential School System

Vancouver, BC – (March 16, 2011) – Kwantlen Polytechnic University students will join aboriginal leaders at a public education symposium on March 21, 2011 to explore the history and repercussions of Canada’s infamous residential school system.

The symposium titled, “Social Justice and Reconciliation: Truth-telling About Canada and the Residential School System,” will include presentations by Chief Robert Joseph (executive director of Residential School Survivors' Society), Xa-li-ya (a Katzie First Nation Elder), Samaya Jardey (BC Liaison, Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission) and Oyate Anawizipi (a member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation). The symposium will also feature a poster presentation “The Burden is Properly Ours” by 20 groups of Kwantlen students and a screening of the documentary "Fallen Feather: Indian Residential Industrial Schools" by Randy Bezeau (2007).

“This conference will offer an opportunity for the public to take a closer look at the assimilation and cultural destruction residential schools have brought upon Aboriginal peoples,” says Seema Ahluwalia, chair of Kwantlen’s Department of Sociology. “The symposium will also offer the public and students a chance to listen to residential school survivors and appreciate how their descendants continue to suffer as a result of the system even today.”

“Our goal with this symposium is to educate and contribute to building bridges of understanding in our communities,” says Ahluwalia.

The event is open to the public. All people of all ages are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

Public Education Symposium Details:

What: A public education symposium exploring the truths about Canada’s Residential School System
Who: Presented by the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Department of Sociology and The Committee for Diversity, Inclusion and Action (CDIA)
When: March 21, 2011 between 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Richmond Campus Conference Centre, 8771 Lansdowne Road, Room 2550

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs including business, liberal arts and science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 17,000 students annually have a choice from over 135 programs including bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.


For information on the symposium, contact:

Seema Ahluwalia,
Chair, Kwantlen, Department of Sociology
Tel: 604 599 2631

For information about Kwantlen, contact:

Joanne Saunders
Director, Marketing and Communications
Tel: 604.599.2243