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- Reconnect and recharge this summer
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- Why Bell Let's Talk Day matters to me
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- The Glass Half Full: The Challenges of 2020 & The Promise of 2021
- Moving forward: Next steps for anti-racism dialogues at SFU Surrey
- Honouring the 215 lives lost
- Walking together towards inclusion
- Summer message from Steve Dooley
- Welcome back to campus!
- Honouring the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
- Introducing The Journey Here: a new podcast from SFU Surrey
- Holiday greetings, a look back on 2021 and hope for 2022
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- Surrey campus vibe is alive-and-strong during COVID-19
- It’s Long Overdue - Moving The Dial on Racism & Discrimination
- Thank You President Petter for 10 Amazing Years
- Welcoming Joy Johnson, SFU's 10th President
- Get to know Steve Dooley, Executive Director of SFU's Surrey Campus
- In case you missed it: Fall 2020 Campus-wide meeting
- The fight against COVID-19: Surrey researchers at their best!
- Season's greetings from Steve Dooley
- Community Perspectives on Living with HIV and where we go From Here
- Celebrating International Women’s Day at SFU’s Surrey Campus
- OppFest at the Surrey campus
- New campus building expands SFU Surrey campus
- Pink Shirt Day
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- SFU Surrey students changing the world in 2019
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- Season 1
- Ep. 1 | Joy Johnson: Leading with Compassion and Care
- Ep. 2 | Kue K'nyawmupoe: Connecting and Serving Communities
- Ep. 3 | Doug Tennant: Empowering Leaders with Diverse Abilities
- Ep. 4 | Kathleen Burke: Igniting Community Leaders
- Ep. 5 | Rochelle Prasad: Sparking the Leaders of Tomorrow
- Ep. 6 | Bailey Mumford: An Advocate for Housing and Belonging
- Ep. 7 | Matt Hern: Supporting Community Development through Worker Co-operatives
- Ep. 8 | Joanne Curry: Engaging Our Campus and Community
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Honouring the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Last week, SFU marked its first Truth and Reconciliation week, and there were a number of initiatives that took place across our three campuses to stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities across Canada.
As you know, the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation took place on September 30th. This day is aligned with what was previously known as Orange Shirt Day, which commemorated the residential school experience and provided an opportunity to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families.
At the Surrey campus, in allyship with the Indigenous communities south of the Fraser River and to signal our commitment to the ongoing process of reconciliation, we joined the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee (SUILC) and the City of Surrey to recognize the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. More than 40 members of the SFU community (including SFU’s President, Joy Johnson) and our partners convened outside of the campus’ new building and drummed over to Holland Park, where we joined hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to mark the occasion.
Emceed by SFU alum, Lyn Daniels (and co-chair of SUILC), the event began with a song to recognize and celebrate the heritage of everyone in attendance, led by Gary George from SFU’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples.
At 2:15 PM, we observed a minute of silence to honour the 215 children found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in May, the thousands of children that have been found since then, and the children that have yet to be found.
Michael Kelly-Gabriel from Kwantlen First Nation also provided remarks, encouraging those in attendance to take the time to educate themselves and others.
“The elders here and the survivors, as I look around, they know that they’re not alone and that’s what we want," said Kelly-Gabriel. "We want you to be a witness here today to take it into your heart, but also go home and share that with just one of your family (members) … so there’s one more person that knows about our history.”
In her remarks, SFU President Joy Johnson stated:
"Today, I’d like to re-affirm that SFU is committed to serving as an instrument for reconciliation, through facilitating a new relationship between Indigenous people and all Canadians, helping with the healing process for past injustices in meaningful ways," said Johnson. "Our work continues to increase access to academic programs, engage in research and to create safe spaces at the Surrey campus for Indigenous students."
President Johnson also introduced Kali Stierle, an Indigenous SFU student with SFU’s First Nations Student Association to say a few words.
As I reflect on the initiatives and events that have taken place over the past week, I recognize that we, as a post-secondary institution, have a great responsibility to educate and promote awareness of the tragic history of residential schools. It is through education that those who suffered and continue to suffer from the legacy of residential schools are not forgotten. The healing process is a long and winding path; SFU is committed to serve as an ally to Indigenous communities as the difficult work continues.
Though the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation has passed, reconciliation and self-education is a continuous and daily journey. I encourage you to stay connected with some of the resources that we have at SFU to continue your learning, including the Office for Aboriginal Peoples, the Indigenous Student Centre, and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Initiative resource guide.