National Indigenous History Month recognized across UNENE campuses

Listening circle
Image: University of Toronto

UNENE universities honour the history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada, as we grieve for 215 Kamloops First Nation children.

JUNE 10, 2021 – University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering (UNENE) institutions began June, which is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, with their flags at half-mast.

This followed the news in late May from Kamloops, BC that the bodies of 215 Indigenous children had been discovered on the grounds of a former residential school in the area.

UNENE universities responded to the news with messages of reflection and support for their Indigenous students, localized resources and the symbolic lowering of their campus flags.

By example, University of New Brunswick President Paul Mazerolle issued a statement acknowledging the work that lies ahead and changes in thinking required to achieve reconciliation. As well, University of Toronto held a virtual residential school hearing circle, June 3, through its Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health.

Month-long programming and events planned in recognition of National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) are moving ahead.

Some events include:

Queen’s University’s Indigenous Teacher Education program is hosting a series of webinars featuring teachings and knowledge from local Indigenous communities.

University of Guelph is celebrating Indigenous-focused academics and projects through its Twitter feed highlighting a researcher who blends western and Indigenous knowledge in her work and an environmental remediation project in collaboration with local elders in Manitoba.

University of Windsor Dean of Law Beverly Jacobs hosted a three-part video series on Indigenous land governance in partnership with David Suzuki Foundation while Western University launched a 30-day challenge to encourage education about Indigenous history in Canada.

As well, University of Saskatchewan alumna Jade Roberts was highlighted on that institution’s social media channels for her podcast which shares the stories of residential school survivors.

The first National Indigenous History Month took place in 2009 after being passed into law by the Government of Canada.