As we approach Canada Day, I want to wish everyone a well-deserved, extra-long holiday weekend. I hope you all get plenty of rest, sunshine, and time with loved ones with the Employee Appreciation Days of July 2 and July 5 which were added to the July 1 statutory holiday this year. A reminder that most college operations will be shut down during this time.
While holidays and time off are much needed, on this Canada Day we must all reflect on aspects of our history that have been ignored for too long. We are collectively reeling from the news of tragic discoveries in Saskatchewan and Kamloops that are the result of racist and discriminatory practices that are sadly not contained to our past. While conversations are now happening across the country about the historical and ongoing trauma caused by Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples and the residential school system, we have much work to do, to heal, to learn, and to ensure the country we call home is truly one where everyone and every culture belongs.
As we observe Canada Day tomorrow, it is vital to begin listening to and recognizing the experiences of Indigenous peoples whose stories have long been hidden and untold. The facts these stories reveal will make us uncomfortable. They will challenge our ideas of what Canada stands for and will cause us to look at Canada’s history, and current realities, in new ways. Only when we confront these facts, and commit to doing better, will we begin to heal as a nation.
Students First • Teamwork • Innovation • Integrity • Belonging
St. Lawrence College is situated on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. May we always be grateful to live and learn on these lands.