The UOITFA would like to honour the lives of the 215 children from Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation who were taken from and never returned to their families and the countless other Indigenous children who suffered at the hands of Canada’s residential school system. We would like to hold space for those who are grieving or suffering because of the legacy of these residential schools and the intergenerational trauma caused by Canada’s ongoing colonization of Indigenous people.
As policy drivers, educators, and intellectuals it is our collective responsibility to grapple with this legacy, challenge Canada’s ongoing genocide of Indigenous people and push forward with the project of decolonization in Canada. While there are many actions we can take as individuals, there are three actions UOITFA members can take now:
1. Continue to pressure all levels of government in Canada and our own institutions to continue the necessary work of implementing the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
2. Commit to eradicating the legacies and colonial structures that are still prevalent in Ontario’s post-secondary sector. It is our work to ensure that no institution is named after or honours those responsible for the atrocities suffered by Indigenous people who were forced to attend Canada’s residential schools.
3. Work to ensure that decolonial frameworks, methodologies and Indigenous systems of knowledge are treated with the utmost respect and utilized in our work whenever possible.