Last week, the remains of 215 children were discovered at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia. These are 215 lives that were cut short and families that were traumatized. It is a vivid and heartbreaking reminder of the ongoing legacy and ripple effects of the residential school system in Canada. The suffering of those impacted by this tragic discovery is palpable, and as an institution, Humber stands with Indigenous peoples in this shared grief.
Humber was one of the first colleges to sign on to the CICan Indigenous Education Protocol. We are committed to putting in the work required to achieve truth and reconciliation.
Our Strategic and Academic plans emphasize the importance of Indigenous education and engagement for the institution. We prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion, and understand the critical role that Indigenous Knowledges, Cultures, and Histories have in everything we do.
Humber values intellectual and cultural traditions from Indigenous cultures and histories and we understand that we are all enriched by the opportunity to learn about them.
The college will work to acknowledge the truth about the genocide that occurred in Indian Residential Schools, recognize the lives lost, and denounce the violent assimilation and the unchecked atrocities. We will listen to and learn from survivors’ stories of resilience and strength so that these tragedies never happen again.
We will stand alongside Indigenous communities to always remember the lost lives of Indigenous peoples.
The flags on Humber’s campuses will be flown at half-staff on Monday, May 31, 2021 in honour of the lives lost and affected due to residential schools.
Lastly, we understand the need and value of support during this challenging time. Below is a list of services available to staff and students.
Resources for students and staff
- Students can contact the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre for support.
- GoodToTalk (1-866-925-5454) is a 24-hour mental health support for Post-Secondary Students in Ontario.
- Therapy Assist Online
- Staff may also access Employee Assistance Plan services.
Additional Mental Health and Well-Being Supports for Indigenous Community members
- The Indian Residential School Survivors Society (available 24/7): 1-800-721-0066
- Hope for Wellness Hotline: 1-854-242-3319, hopeforwellness.ca
Chris Whitaker Jason Seright
President and CEO Dean, Indigenous Education and Engagement