Dear MSVU students, faculty and staff,
This Thursday, September 30 marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day established to honour the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities, and ensure public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools.
At MSVU, we will be observing this holiday. Though our campus will be closed and classes will not be held, the day requires that our hearts and minds be open as we engage in acts of truth and reconciliation – opportunities for learning and reflection on the devastating history and legacy of residential schools, as well as other aspects of Indigenous history, culture, and experiences.
New Indigenous Resource Hub
To assist with your journey of education, I am pleased to highlight a new Indigenous Resource Hub that launched yesterday on the MSVU website. The hub is a rich repository of materials – podcasts, books, documentaries, websites, reports, articles, films, tv shows, free online courses, and more – about Indigenous history, culture and contemporary issues. It’s also a work in progress; suggestions are welcome.
I encourage you to explore the resources in this new hub and share them with others.
An update on our work regarding MSVU’s role in residential schools
As I’ve previously mentioned, MSVU is currently advancing critical conversations about our university’s connection to residential schools. We have heard from many Indigenous community members – in particular members of the L’nu Advisory Circle, Elders, and residential school survivors. These conversations have been deeply valuable and I am sincerely grateful to those who have been part of them. Later in October, I will share more about the outcomes of these conversations, including how MSVU will continue to work with Indigenous experts to build educational programs and services that will benefit the Indigenous youth of today and tomorrow.
I wanted to draw your attention to – and encourage your participation in – the events planned across our region to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (September 30), Orange Shirt Day (September 30), Treaty Day (October 1), the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (October 4) and Mi’kmaq History Month (October) – a list of select events is available here. The Aboriginal Student Centre and other MSVU departments have events in the works to mark Mi’kmaq History Month, details to follow – please stay tuned.
This year, we are flying a new flag on the Seton Academic Centre at MSVU bearing the phrase “Every Child Matters,” as well as lighting the exteriors of the Seton Academic Centre and Evaristus Hall in orange.
I hope you will take some time to engage with the materials presented in this message and join in events as you can.
We are all treaty people.
Ramona Lumpkin, CM, PhD
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor
Mount Saint Vincent University
MSVU is located on unceded ancestral Mi’kmaq territory. This territory is covered by the Covenant Chain of Treaties of Peace and Friendship signed between 1725 and 1779. We pay respect to the knowledge embedded in the Indigenous custodians of this land and to the Elders, past, present, and future.