Mourning an unfathomable loss
The Indigenous Circle, pictured above, is an outdoor teaching and gathering space at McMaster, designed to affirm the importance of Indigenous knowledge to the university community.
The emotionally disturbing and unfathomable discovery of the remains of over 200 children found buried at the site of a former residential school in British Columbia’s southern Interior, is undoubtedly reverberating through our campus community.
Let us pause to collectively pay our respects and join in mourning the profound loss experienced by all Indigenous peoples and felt across diverse communities at McMaster and across nations. The McMaster community extends its sincere condolences to the families of the children and to all those impacted by this latest horrifying discovery.
First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples have for decades described the appalling conditions and severity of the residential school system, and the recent news only serves to deepen our humility and compassion and strengthen our resolve towards reconciliation.
The university flags will be lowered to half-mast beginning May 31 following the discovery of 215 bodies of children at the site of a former residential school in British Columbia’s southern Interior.
The flags will remain lowered for 215 hours, until Wednesday, June 9, in memory of the children who were sent to residential schools and in recognition of the profound loss experienced by all Indigenous peoples and felt across diverse communities at McMaster and across nations.
Community members seeking support can contact:
- Indigenous Wellness Counsellor, Indigenous Student Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) – for students
- Indigenous Students Health Sciences Office (email@example.com)
- Elder-in-Residence, Indigenous Student Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) – for students and employees
- Equity and Inclusion Office (email@example.com) – for students and employees
- Indian Residential School Survivors and Family Hotline, 1-866-925-4419
- Hope for Wellness Help Line, 1-855-242-3310 or connect to the online chat at hopeforwellness.ca
Employees seeking support may also access support through the Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP):
- Contact Homewood Health through their website (www.homeweb.ca) or by phone toll-free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to book appointments, or access any EFAP service