SFU's National Day for Truth and Reconciliation graphic is a subtle expression of Etuaptmumk (Two-Eyed Seeing), a guiding principle developed by Mi’kmaq Elder Albert Marshall that recognizes better outcomes are more likely if we bring two or more perspectives into collaboration. The design was developed between SFU designers and the Office for Aboriginal Peoples. The image suggests Western perspective (SFU’s AQ) in partnership with the Indigenous perspective (Longhouse facade) to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

Simon Fraser University's Faculty of Environment respectfully acknowledges the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Qayqayt, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen peoples on whose unceded traditional territories our three campuses reside. 

Today, September 30th, marks the first  National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, also known as Orange Shirt Day. It is a time for reflection and a time to come together in the spirit of reconciliation, and honour those who have been impacted by Canada’s residential school system.  We invite students, staff and faculty to wear orange and take time to mark the day.

The Faculty of Environment recognizes that we have much work to do on reconciliation, Indigenization and decolonization and commits to sustained effort to enrich and improve our relationship with First Nations.

We are grateful for the hard work of our faculty and students who have begun this work and are collaborating with Indigenous communities, innovating curriculum, and engaging with Indigenous students. 

We share a few highlights of this work:


SFU Archaeology is committed to repatriation of ancestral remains and archeological objects to First Nations as a very visible form of reconciliation.  This social media post from Rob Rondeau documents part of this work:

On Tuesday, July 13th, the archaeological remains of the Tsawwassen First Nation’s Ancestors and their belongings were returned home. The majority of the remains are from excavations that took place at the Beach Grove site (DgRs 1) in 1961 and 1979.

Tia Williams, Lu’kwo’liye, Archaeology Coordinator for the Tsawwassen First Nation, (pictured) accepted on behalf of her Nation. Witnessing her signing was Hugo Cardoso, Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Archaeology (pictured).

Also, in attendance was consulting archaeologist, Sarah Smith from Stantec, who has been involved in the repatriation project. Involved in the return home project were also SFU Archaeology Laboratory staff; Peter Locher, Megan Wong and Shannon Wood, assisted by previous work done by archaeologists Andrew Barton and Heather Robertson and a multitude of volunteers and Department work study students through the years.


Since 2015, and in collaboration with Sioux Valley Dakota Nation (SVDN), researchers from Simon Fraser University (Archaeology and Indigenous Studies), Brandon University and the University of Windsor have been conducting an investigation to identify the children buried in unmarked graves at the Brandon Indian Residential School, in Manitoba.
 The first of its kind, this project is being funded by a SSHRC - Partnership Development Grant.

This partnership will create a roadmap to help Indigenous communities across Canada to navigate the complex system to identify or commemorate missing children at former Indian Residential Schools.


More highlights


What can i do?


When: Thursday, September 30, 2021

  • 1:30 PM: Meet at the entrance of the SRYE building to participate in a drumming procession to Holland Park
  • 2:00 - 4:00 PM: Event program begins at Holland Park, near the fountain (13428 Old Yale Rd)

To mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, you are invited to join SFU Surrey, in partnership with the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee (SUILC) and the City of Surrey, for an afternoon of stories, tea, bannock and drumming. 

Join us on September 30 at 1:30 PM at the entrance of the new building (SRYE) to be part of a drumming procession to Holland Park. The event will take place in Holland Park from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, rain or shine. We encourage you to wear an item of orange clothing and bring your drum if you have one!

SFU President Joy Johnson and SFU student Len Pierre from Katzie First Nation will provide remarks. The program will also include an Indigenous First Nations welcome, drumming, singing and poetry by Kwantlen First Nation artist, Joseph A. Dandurand.


learn more about where you are is a nonprofit organization that encourages territory awareness. "We strive to map Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages across the world in a way that goes beyond colonial ways of thinking in order to better represent how Indigenous people want to see themselves."

Search your address to learn more about the land you work, live or go to school on.

take the personal pledge of reconciliation

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Listen to Húy̓at Origin Stories

Húy̓at: Our Voices our Land uses video, photos and stories to present an engaging overview of Heiltsuk connections to Húy̓at (How-yaht), a network of culturally important landscapes in Heiltsuk territory on the Central Coast of British Columbia. It is where the Heiltsuk have lived for millennia, learning from and caring for the land, plants and animals on which they depend.

This website is the result of a collaboration between the Heiltsuk people, SFU archaeologist Dana Lepofsky and team, University of Victoria, the Hakai Institute and Greencoast Media


Learn about the languages of the First Nations Communities where SFU resides.

Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus is on Burnaby Mountain. This is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw) and Musqueam(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations.

In Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Burnaby Mountain is: Lhuḵw’lhuḵw’áyten

Visit SFU’s Bill Reid Centre to learn more about Coast Salish place names.

Did you know

  • Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), means People of the Inlet?
  • Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) is derived from the flowering plant, məθkʷəy̓, which grows in the Fraser Rivere estuary?
  • Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm) refers to a small red salmon or unique sockeye salmon that once ran in large numbers in the Coquitlam river and Coquitlam Lake.  The Kwikwetlem nation takes their name from this forebearer that sustained their community for thousands of years?

Visit The Squamish Nation to learn greetings and more in Skwxwú7mesh Snichim.

learn about Economic Reconciliation

The Community Economic Development team have been helping us to answer this question through transformative storytelling and community consultations. Findings from a new framework for BC Economic Reconciliation for municipalities, Institutions, and Industry partners will be available next month.


Learn about some of the Faculty of Environment research with First Nations communities: