UVic affirms commitment to supporting Indigenous community

- UVic President Jamie Cassels

I want to acknowledge and recognize the expressions of concern and distress from many members of the University of Victoria community and across the country over the circumstances around the death of Colten Boushie and its aftermath. On behalf of the University of Victoria, I support the Universities Canada statement below.

UVic, along with other educational institutions, is committed to playing a positive role in advancing Canada towards truth and meaningful reconciliation. We acknowledge the enormity of the challenge and the great distance still to be travelled. We will use the foundational values and teachings in our Indigenous Plan to guide us on this important journey—including ə’sacʔəy’xw meqw tə’sa tečel | Be prepared for all work to come.

Education is fundamental to reconciliation and mutual understanding, and we will continue our work to ensure that UVic is a racism-free and inclusive environment that embraces the many and diverse cultures present in the broader university community.

If you are a student, faculty or staff member who is affected by the recent events and would like support, please contact the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement.

Universities Canada statement

OTTAWA – Canada’s university presidents wish to extend their deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Colten Boushie, the wider Indigenous community and all Canadians who are hurting at this difficult time. We are fully committed to supporting our Indigenous students, faculty, staff and local communities now and in the weeks and months to come.

As Canadian society grapples with the ongoing reality of racism and the challenges of reconciliation, Canada’s universities reaffirm our commitment to fostering a renewed relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, by examining and changing our own institutional approaches, policies, practices and structures. Universities across Canada made this public commitment in 2015 to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action, and recent events have underscored the need for the higher education sector to redouble its efforts.

As public institutions of learning, discovery, and community service that deeply value dialogue, debate, and cross-cultural exchange, Canada’s universities are committed to a leadership role in advancing reconciliation in Canada.

Jamie Cassels, QC
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Victoria