Statements on the remains of Indigenous children found

June 10, 2021

Message from Dr. Tim Rahilly, PhD, president and vice-chancellor on the Kamloops residential school burial site.

The discovery of 215 innocent children found buried in unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops is nothing short of devastating. My heart goes out to everyone in our campus community feeling the impact of this discovery and the intergenerational trauma of residential schools.

I believe we must all stop and reflect on the scale of this tragic event to acknowledge the legacy of residential schools and the profound effect it has on individuals, families and communities.

At MRU, we must support those who are grieving and recommit to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Education is an important contribution and it’s one that schools like MRU must make.

I ask that you please take a moment to read this letter to the community from Dr. Linda ManyGuns, PhD, Mount Royal University’s associate vice-president of Indigenization and Decolonization.


Related: President’s video message, including comments on Kamloops tragedy

Message to the community from Dr. Linda ManyGuns, PhD, associate vice-president, Indigenization and Decolonization on Kamloops residential school burial site.

Respectfully supported by Dr. Elizabeth Evans, PhD, interim provost and vice-president, Academic and the Provost’s Council, including MRU’s vice-provosts and deans

In the spirit of reconciliation, we offer our condolences and support to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nations upon the discovery of the remains of 215 children, buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

The violence of colonization is at the forefront of our national consciousness. As we embark into National Indigenous History Month, we are committed to working together to reflect on the painful lessons learned and to engage in deliberate dialogue to make meaningful changes in all aspects of Canadian society and education at MRU. These painful truths will shape and motivate our intent to decolonize all parts of Mount Royal University.

We are committed in aligning the strategies and goals of Mount Royal University to recommendations outlined in the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We are committed to working closely with Indigenous students and Indigenous communities for respectful, meaningful outcomes and student success. We are committed to building space where trust, equity and inclusion flourish.

The time for reconciliation has come. The wellbeing of all parts of society is at the core of reconciliation. We will do the essential work to create an equitable and healthier future for all.



May 31, 2021

It is a time to be strong. We must face the horror that comes with finding 215 Indigenous children who died in a residential school and commit to finding the others who went missing. There has been a lot of talk with no action on this front. The truth must be sought and acknowledged. We do this for the sake of these little ones and their loved ones, for the sake of residential school survivors, for the sake of Indigenous People, for the sake of a kinder future and a better Canada.

Dr. Linda ManyGuns, PhD
Associate vice-president Indigenization and Decolonization

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