Statement ~

The School for the Contemporary Arts acknowledges that recent public and personal disclosures involving SFU Galleries’ Curator cheyanne turions, who has changed her self-identification from mixed settler/Indigenous to settler ancestry, have led to distrust, anger, sadness, resentment, and stress among members of our community. There is harm in assuming the place of another. Acknowledging this harm is one step towards repairing institutional relations to diverse communities impacted by racism and colonialism; the School is particularly concerned that our Indigenous faculty, students and future students are negatively affected by these revelations.

We recognize that this situation reflects the larger colonial structures that continue to underpin the university. In particular, we acknowledge that the School and SFU Galleries must continue to make meaningful, tangible commitments to working with Indigenous communities in transforming these institutions into avowedly anti-colonial spaces. In alignment with our ongoing efforts to recognize Indigenous sovereignty beyond the practice of territorial acknowledgements, we must consider and respect that Indigenous sovereignty extends to each community’s processes of determining identity, membership, and connection. The School for the Contemporary Arts is committed to working with Indigenous advisors to implement appropriate and careful procedures and protocols for affirming claims to Indigeneity.

We are working with SFU Galleries as we consider how best to effect healing and restitution.