UASU Commends Lecture on the Harms of Residential School Denialism

News Staff - Fri Jan 19, 2024

The UASU commends the Indigenous Graduate Students’ Association and Indigenous Students’ Union for their impactful counter program event. The UASU is grateful to see how our community came together to attend the Lecture on the Harms of Residential School Denialism, and is deeply thankful for transformative student leadership in determining the most appropriate course of action.

Recognizing the reported racialized harassment and threats faced by some students, we stand in solidarity with those students who exercised their freedom of speech. Our stance remains resolute – there is no room for discrimination or harassment in our communities. We firmly reject any attempt to downplay the profound impact of the Indian Residential School System (IRSS), acknowledged as genocide by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, UASU policy, and the Government of Canada.

We value Dr. Sean Carleton's insights about speakers who thrive on division, who seek to garner attention and generate controversy, only to move on, leaving our community to navigate the aftermath. We believe that the University has a responsibility to actively uplift and support students and the truth, even in challenging circumstances. We commend the students who led counter program efforts. The UASU also wants to thank the Faculty of Arts and the Department of Anthropology for the way they supported the lecture.

We strongly encourage the University to do more and take a proactive role in supporting initiatives that foster unity and understanding within our campus community. We need administration to defend student safety first and foremost. The UASU remains a resource for students seeking assistance or voicing concerns, and we encourage affected individuals to explore the available campus resources dedicated to ensuring their safety.

The UASU Cares directory can point you toward professional services and culturally informed support.

About the University of Alberta Students’ Union

The UASU is the official representative of 35,000 undergraduate students at the University of Alberta. It advocates for students’ needs and priorities to the University of Alberta and at all levels of government.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Ari Campbell

External Relations Specialist

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