"September 30 is a day to recognize the survivors and victims of residential schools, acknowledge the painful impacts of colonialism on Indigenous people and continue to advance the process of reconciliation"
This year, MacEwan University in Edmonton will pause regular classroom instruction and instead focus the entire day on events and activities that provide education, community connection and tools to assist the MacEwan community in understanding the role we all play in truth and reconciliation.
Providing educational opportunities, rather than closing the university entirely, was a carefully considered decision made by the university’s General Faculties Council in consultation with university leadership, including leaders from the kihêw waciston Indigenous Centre. The determination was that, as a post-secondary institution, MacEwan has a responsibility to facilitate education on critical issues. “What better way to honour our place in O-Day’min on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation than to roll up our sleeves and really dig into the work of reconciliation,” says Dr. Annette Trimbee, president of MacEwan University. “That work requires coming together to listen, to learn and to chart a course forward as an institution and as a community.”
All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take part in the day’s events, which include teaching and learning walks guided by Elders and knowledge keepers, sessions discussing residential schools and their continued impact on Indigenous peoples, sharing circles, campus beading activities and a two-spirit drop-in with the Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity. Participants are also encouraged to wear orange shirts.
A unique element of this year’s events is that they will be organized and facilitated by staff and faculty from across university faculties and departments – including both Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the MacEwan community – rather than relying solely on the kihêw waciston Indigenous Centre.
Students, staff and faculty who are unable to be on campus on September 30 can still access virtual learning opportunities.
For more information on MacEwan’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation events and virtual resources, visit MacEwan.ca/kihewwaciston.