tānisi. hãn. ëdƚanet’e? taanishi. Aniin
[English. French. Cree. Dakota/Lakota/Nakota. Dene. Michif. Saulteaux]
It is during these very difficult and challenging times that it is hard to find the right words to express our grief and how sorry we are to learn about the results of the ground search at the Williams Lake First Nation in British Columbia. It was shared that the initial sweep has uncovered a possible 93 burial sites, the latest such discovery in the past year. We want to offer our sincere condolences to the community and to the families affected by this news. We also want to acknowledge the strength and the resiliency of the community, and the survivors who were brave enough to share their stories once again so that the children could be found. The healing journey will continue until all the children have been brought home. We send our support toward healing for those that will be retraumatized by these findings.
This news will be difficult for our community. It will be especially challenging for Indigenous students, staff and faculty; as we all know, we have many residential school and day school survivors who study and work here. We ask that people be mindful of how difficult this week will be and ensure people have adequate time to process the latest news and access the appropriate wellness resources (see below for links). We request that instructors are sensitive to students needing additional time on assignments and time away from class. It is at these times that we come together as a community to acknowledge and pay our respects; it is community and relationships that carry us through difficult times.
During the COVID pandemic, we are limited on how we can gather to support one another. In place of a physical gathering, a virtual gathering will take place on Thursday, January 27, from 3:30 – 5 pm, and all are welcome to attend. Please follow the link below to participate, and please wear your orange shirt to demonstrate our solidarity.
Let us take this time to have remembrance, respect, and compassion for the lives lost and the survivors of this discovery. We need to take time to reflect and carry on the important healing work that is ahead of us. We know that this will affect many people in different ways, those touched by residential and day schools and generations beyond. We must be supportive in every way possible. Our hearts are with the Williams Lake First Nation in their time of healing.
Williams Lake First Nation Memorial Gathering
Jan 27, 2022, 3:30 pm
Meeting ID: 987 3042 0080
ohpahotân | oohpaahotaan, the Indigenous Strategy for the University of Saskatchewan, describes the commitment of Wellness as embodying “intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual health”, and speaks to the importance of a wholistic balance for these four aspects of care.
Many supports are available at the Student Wellness Centre and Student Affairs and Outreach. Staff and faculty can access confidential counselling through the Employee and Family Assistance Program.
The following community-based supports and resources are also available:
- Indigenous Wellness Support Page
- Library exhibit and the guide to accompany the exhibit Not Just Another Day Off: Orange Shirt Day and the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: Home
- #actonreconciliation is a campaign spearheaded by the Saskatoon Tribal Council and encourages everyone to act on reconciliation. This is an opportunity for deeper discussions and education to support the new National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Residential and Day School Survivors.
mąsi / pidamaya / pinámaya miigwetch / marsee / hiy hiy
Airini and Angela
Provost and Vice President Academic
Vice Provost, Indigenous Engagement