Dear Dal Community,
In lieu of my regular column this week, I wanted to draw your attention to the memo sent Thursday afternoon by Vice-Provost Equity & Inclusion Theresa Rajack-Talley, Provost and Vice-President Academic Frank Harvey, and I.
The Dalhousie University community extends our deepest sympathy to the survivors, families and Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan who are mourning the discovery of 751 unmarked graves of sacred children at the site of a former residential school in that province.
This is the second such horrific discovery in less than a month with others to follow that will continue to mark one of the darkest chapters in Canada’s history. We are heartbroken at this news and the Dalhousie community offers our unwavering support to the Indigenous communities impacted by this tragedy. We continue to work closely with Dalhousie’s Indigenous Advisory Council on how to better address this issue and make Dalhousie more inclusive in all that we do. To honour the 751 children whose lives were lost at the former Saskatchewan residential school and their families, Dalhousie will lower its flags to half-mast.
A National Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866 925-4419.
We also encourage anyone affected by this news to reach out to the university for available resources and supports.
- The Elders in Residence program is available to students across campus, The Elders are committed to being available to students for guidance, counsel and support.
- The Indigenous Student Centre helps create a sense of belonging to support student success while at Dalhousie. Our Indigenous Student Advisor provides support and advocacy for all of Dalhousie’s Indigenous students.
- Dalhousie’s Human Rights and Equity Services provides confidential advice and support if a member of our community has faced race-based harassment and/or discrimination.
- Students who require immediate support should contact Student Health and Wellness by phone to book an appointment: 902-494-2171 (Halifax); 902-893-6369 (Truro). Additional e-mental health options for students are available, including Good2Talk – free and confidential counselling for post-secondary students (dal.ca/good2talk); Ask a Nurse – confidential answers to your health questions within 72 hrs; and TAO – an online mental health library.
- Faculty and staff resources are available through our Employee Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com or at login.lifeworks.com. Please also visit our remote working site for employees for additional mental health resources.
Our sympathy, strength, and spirit are with you.
Deep, Frank & Theresa