- President’s Distinguished Community Leadership Award
SFU to observe moment of silence at 2:15 PM today
As we continue to grieve the enormous loss discovered at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, and reflect on the lasting devastation caused by residential schools, I am holding Indigenous students, faculty, staff and community members in my thoughts. The burden you have been made to carry is too heavy. I stand in solidarity with you.
The university has lowered its flags, which will remain at half-mast until June 8, marking one hour for each of the 215 children whose lives were lost. SFU and the SFSS encourage the community to observe a moment of silence at 2:15 p.m. today, May 31, to honour their lives.
Supports are available. Please reach out if you need help.
- Students: The Indigenous Student Centre has created a list of resources: https://www.facebook.com/SFU.ISC/posts/4304700889539878
- Faculty and staff: The employee and family assistance program is available for faculty, staff and their immediate families: https://www.sfu.ca/human-resources/efap.html
- The Indian Residential School Survivors Society is available 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. It's toll-free and can be reached at 1-800-588-8717
- The First Nations Health Authority offers support specifically for survivors and families who have been directly impacted by the Indian Residential School system.
I ask faculty and staff to seek ways to offer support for those who are navigating trauma. Consider flexibility on deadlines or attendance, and familiarize yourself with the supports listed above.
There is more we can and must do, as individuals and as a community. Today, the work is to be present for one another, to hear and understand the stories of residential schools, and to extend deep respect to the Indigenous members of our community who continue to be affected by colonialism and the horrific legacy of residential schools.
President and Vice-Chancellor
Simon Fraser University