Ron Johnston, Director of the Office for Aboriginal Peoples

Director, Office for Aboriginal Peoples' message

December 22, 2021

The Office for Aboriginal Peoples (OAP) is delighted to share our annual newsletter with you, which unlike previous editions, highlights Indigenous initiatives that have taken place over the past two years (2019-2021).

This past year has been a difficult time for many. It has been a time for reflection, perseverance, and resilience amidst the challenges and adversity we have experienced during a global pandemic, and through the difficult truths revealed this past year in the findings of the unmarked graves at residential schools across Canada. For many Indigenous peoples, these truths are well known through our oral histories and teachings, and well documented through various government reports such as the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (2015).

Our Elders have taught us that we should always try to find positive teachings out of experiences that have challenged us, so that we are able to learn from the past as we move into the future. Keeping these teachings and sentiments in mind and close to our hearts, I would like to think they are reflected in this newsletter and in the SFU Annual Reconciliation reports that together help to showcase the good work that has happened at SFU during these challenging times. In closing, I would like to raise my hands in thanks to the many students, faculty, and staff who have contributed to this good work and to this special OAP Newsletter edition, congratulations on a job well done!

Director, Office for Aboriginal Peoples