VIU Campus

Recognizing Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Row of orange hearts

Dear VIU Community,

On September 30, we mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – a day for all Canadians to reflect on the residential schools' ongoing and tragic legacy. In my opinion, the best way that we can all use this day to promote reconciliation is to use it as an opportunity to learn about Canada's colonial history and its effects on Indigenous peoples. Although the university will be closed on September 30, you can still act by starting a discussion with your friends or by participating in a community-sponsored event. Whatever you choose, take time to learn and reflect. The Office of Indigenous Education & Engagement has compiled a list of resources to build awareness and understanding of the effects of colonialism, and how you can support reconciliation.

There will also be several events at VIU campuses to recognize this day.

Marking this day may be difficult for many employees and students. Resources are available to support you; please reach out if you need to.

  • Employees: VIU's Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) through Homewood Health. The telephone number is 1-800 663-1142. The program also has this resource available to all: Experiencing a Traumatic Event.
  • Students: Information about services, including counseling, can be found at the Student Support Services website (closed on September 30). 
  • Services for Aboriginal Students: Tel: 250-740-6510; Toll-Free: 1-888-920-2221, ext 6510; email (closed on September 30).
  • Community resources: There is a National Indian Residential School Crisis Line set up to provide support for former Residential School students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419. The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous-specific crisis line within BC, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free from anywhere in BC. You can reach the KUU-US Crisis Line at (toll-free) 1-800-588-8717. Alternatively, call directly into the Youth Line at 250 723-2040 or the Adult Line at 250 723-4050, or online.

Dr. Deborah Saucier

VIU President and Vice-Chancellor


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