Statement on the Star Blanket Cree Nation tragedy

Supports are available to members of the campus community during this difficult time.

We acknowledge that the University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another.

It is with heavy hearts that we are sending you this message today following the announcement from Star Blanket Cree Nation yesterday. The University of Saskatchewan stands with Star Blanket Cree Nation following the discovery of human remains and many potential unmarked graves at the site of the former Qu’Appelle Indian Industrial School near Lebret, Saskatchewan.

We support the members of the Star Blanket Cree Nation. With deep respect, we acknowledge the grief stemming from this shocking and heartbreaking discovery.

Please know that supports are available to you as members of the campus community. I encourage you to access these supports during this difficult time.

Student Support

  • Student Affairs and Outreach has a team that can provide immediate support. You can connect with a member of the team by calling 306-966-5757 or by emailing and requesting to speak with an outreach co-ordinator.
  • The Student Wellness Centre offers a range of services to support students’ physical and mental health, including support from an Indigenous counsellor. To book an appointment, call 306-966-5768.
  • Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre supports Indigenous student academic and personal success through a wide variety of programs and services, including social and cultural programming. The centre can be reached at 306-966-5790 or by email at

Staff and faculty can access confidential counselling through the Employee and Family Assistance Program. The following community-based supports are also available:

  • The Indian Residential School Survivors Society can be reached at 1-800-721-0066, along with a 24-hour crisis line at 1-866-925-4419 for those who need immediate support.
  • The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides an Indigenous-specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The toll-free crisis line can be reached at 1-800-588-8717.
  • The First Nations Health Authority offers supports specifically for survivors and families who have been directly impacted by the residential school system.

More Indigenous wellness resources can be found here.

Our university, like universities across the country, has an important role to play in educating and changing the country to understand and [re]learn the history and legacy of residential schools, and all associated truths. The troubling and tragic aspects of Canada’s history cannot be changed, but we can work together to ensure our shared future uplifts Indigenous knowledges and supports reconciliation and decolonization.

With respect and solidarity,

Provost and Vice-President Academic
University of Saskatchewan

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