Statement from Dr. Annette Trimbee in support of Indigenous community

The University of Winnipeg is committed to creating safer spaces for students and community members, particularly Indigenous peoples. Like many across the country, we in the UWinnipeg community are saddened by the needless loss of young lives and futures, including Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine. Tina was a member of the community in which we are located. Our thoughts and sympathies are with their families, and all families who are affected by violence, as they cope with tremendous grief.

As a place of learning, we recognize our role in supporting the development of the next generation of leaders who will help us understand the systems and histories that have led to these events. It is a difficult time, from which we will further strengthen our resolve to providing spaces and opportunities for young Indigenous people to reach their full potential.

Undoubtedly recent events and media attention surrounding these trials have affected members of the University community. Many of us are struggling to understand what they mean and how we can move forward from here. The University has counselling services available for those in need, and we encourage connection with the Aboriginal Student Services Centre.

Students who may need additional time to complete assignments or to defer tests/exams are encouraged to speak to their professors. They may also contact Academic Advising or Aboriginal Student Support Officer Jeff Booth in the Aboriginal Student Services Centre. If you would like to explore the option of counselling, please contact the Counselling Services centre at studentwellness@uwinnipeg.ca or (204) 988-7611.

All are welcome to visit with our Elders-in-Residence, who are available Tuesday through Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm in the Aboriginal Student Services Centre in room 2L02C.

All our relations,
Dr. Annette Trimbee
President and Vice-Chancellor
The University of Winnipeg

Please also see below a statement issued today by Universities Canada, of which The University of Winnipeg is a member.

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Canada’s universities reaffirm commitment to supporting Indigenous community

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.

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