A message from President Michael Benarroch on the recent discovery at Cowessess First Nation
The recent news from Cowessess First Nation is another horrible reminder of the tragic suffering caused by residential schools. Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan has announced the discovery of 751 unmarked graves at the site of the former Marieval Residential School. Children from both Saskatchewan and Manitoba attended the school.
The world is watching how Canada responds to this news, in addition to news of the 215 children whose remains were found at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School and the more than 100 remains located on the grounds of the former Brandon Residential School in Manitoba. Sadly, we know there will be more.
This breaks my heart and reminds me of the responsibility I have, and that we all have to learn more and to support the process of Truth and Reconciliation and the Calls to Action.
The University of Manitoba hosts the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and is deeply committed to the centre’s ongoing work to support Survivors and to honour the memories of all the children lost.
To Indigenous faculty, staff, students and alumni: Please take care of yourself. Please take care of each other. We are grieving with you. You are not alone.
Mental, physical, social, cultural and spiritual campus supports can be accessed through:
- Employee wellness resources and crisis support, including the Employee and Family Assistance Program (Intranet)
- Indigenous Cultural Healing Supports through Manitoba Shared Health
- Student supports
- The Academics at Risk Program: contact Dr. Hal Wallbridge, C. Psych. at Harold [dot] wallbridge [at] umanitoba [dot] ca
- The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line, available 24 hours a day: 1-866-925-4419