Recent discovery of unmarked graves
Message on residential schools from President Goel
The University of Waterloo acknowledges and stands in support of Wauzhushk Onigum Nation regarding the recent announcement of 171 plausible burials at the St. Mary's Indian Residential School.
We recognize Indigenous communities suffer renewed trauma when unmarked graves near former residential schools are confirmed. This trauma increases as more burial sites are discovered. Such revelations often reopen the wounds caused by the erasure of Indigenous cultures through colonialism and the continued discrimination and stigma that Indigenous peoples face.
As an educational institution within Canada, we will continue to honour our commitment to Indigenous peoples, communities, histories and ways of knowing. As a campus community, we will continue to prioritize bringing awareness to the truth and legacy of colonial actions such as the Indian Residential School System. Understanding the reasons why these actions took place, the magnitude of destruction they have caused, and the colonial barriers that continue today allows us to know how to move forward together, as a community and as a society.
Join me in taking a moment to reflect on the children who attended St. Mary’s Residential School in Kenora and their families. I encourage you to deepen your understanding of Indian Residential Schools and the lasting and continuous impact it has left on Indigenous peoples and communities.
For supports and resources on the Indian Residential School System:
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.