Residential Schools in Canada

To redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian Reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission created 94 calls to action, with calls six through 12 related to education. 

SFU offers several courses that include content on residential schools. 

Remembering the lives of those who never returned home

Members of the SFU community are remembering the children and adults found buried at former Indian residential schools. Hundreds of unmarked graves have been discovered by the Cowessess First Nation, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation Lower Kootenay Band, Penelakut Tribe, Williams Lake First Nation, Kapawe'no First Nation and shíshálh Nation. Sadly, from the oral histories of First Peoples, we know there will be even more uncovered. 

Honouring the lives lost at former Indian residential schools & action you can take

SFU observed a moment of silence at 2:15 p.m. May 31, 2021. The university also lowered its flags, which will remain half-mast until further notice. 

This is a difficult and emotional time for Indigenous members of the SFU community, who continue to navigate the trauma and ongoing harm caused by colonialism and the horrific legacy of residential schools. Supports are available to you, as SFU President Joy Johnson noted in a May 31 message to the community. Please reach out if you need help.

Many are looking for ways to take meaningful actions. Please check out how to continue supporting Indigenous community members and our educational resources to support further learning on the topics of colonization and residential schools. It’s important that community members take personal initiative to access education resources and increase their own understanding of the ongoing harms of colonization and residential schools to avoid the burden of education falling on Indigenous community members. At this time many Indigenous community members need time to grieve and rest.