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Royal Roads University affirms commitment to reconciliation

February 15, 2018
Allan Cahoon, PhD
Sneq’wa (Blue Heron) e’lun (House), is a “home away from home” for Indigenous and Metis students, faculty and staff. Sneq’wa e’lun, is also the home of the office of Indigenous Education and Student Services (IESS).

On behalf of the Royal Roads University community, I extend heartfelt condolences to the family of Colten Boushie for their tragic loss. I want also to acknowledge that members of Indigenous communities continue to experience systemic racism every day in this country. I honour their resilience. In response to the Stanley trial verdict and its implications, I reaffirm Royal Roads’ commitment to reconciliation and decolonization.

I stand with Canadian university presidents in the statement from Universities Canada below and our commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action. As educators and university leaders in Canada, we recognize the integral role education plays to create meaningful change, from individual actions to national strategies. 

I gratefully acknowledge all we have learned from the Island Nations who we consider to be our generous hosts on the shores of the Esquimalt Lagoon: the Lkwungen and Xwsepsum families, and their close relatives in the Scia’new and T’Sou-ke Nations.

At Royal Roads, we commit to the personal and systemic transformation necessary to make decolonization a reality.

Allan Cahoon, PhD is president and vice-chancellor of Royal Roads University.

Universities Canada statement Feb. 12, 2018

Canada’s universities reaffirm commitment to supporting Indigenous community

OTTAWA – Canada’s university presidents wish to extend their deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Colten Boushie, the wider Indigenous community and all Canadians who are hurting at this difficult time. We are fully committed to supporting our Indigenous students, faculty, staff and local communities now and in the weeks and months to come.

As Canadian society grapples with the ongoing reality of racism and the challenges of reconciliation, Canada’s universities reaffirm our commitment to fostering a renewed relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, by examining and changing our own institutional approaches, policies, practices and structures. Universities across Canada made this public commitment in 2015 to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, and recent events have underscored the need for the higher education sector to redouble its efforts.

As public institutions of learning, discovery, and community service that deeply value dialogue, debate, and cross-cultural exchange, Canada’s universities are committed to a leadership role in advancing reconciliation in Canada.