National Day of Truth and Reconciliation: MRU’s response to reconsider campus closure Sept. 30

Posted on behalf of Michelle LoGullo, MRSA President

I wanted to follow up, as promised, with the senior administration’s response to my request to reconsider the campus closure to acknowledge the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. As many of you may be aware, Education is not under the umbrella of the Federal Government but lies under Provincial legislation. Therefore, Sept. 30 is not a recognized “holiday” in Alberta. Employers therefore, make the determination to recognize this day for closure of business. Here is our Employer’s response:

“The University focused on creating and coordinating many meaningful activities for the whole campus community to participate in. We believe this is an opportunity for us all to acknowledge, reflect and learn about the history and pain of residential schools and to consider how we can advance reconciliation in our lives and work.

As you’re likely aware, planned activities on the 30th, as well as in the weeks before and after include speakers, a PowWow, a parade with Indigenous dancers and drummers, and a student-led event on intergenerational trauma that will involve and engage our students, faculty and staff. Facilities Management will light the Charleton Pond orange on that day in honour of Truth and Reconciliation. Participation in the planned activities by students and staff is encouraged to advance reconciliation awareness and commitment across our community.

These activities include some virtual and many on campus. All COVID health protocols will be in force including mandatory masking for indoor activities on campus.

Finally, all leaders have committed to encouraging their personnel to participate in these activities where operationally feasible, and/or to take the time to complete the online Four Seasons of Reconciliation program. Employees not able to be on campus on Sept. 30 due to other commitments should advise their manager and record the day accordingly as the University will remain open for operations and scheduled classes.”

For your own interest and information, I am posting the calendar of events for The Journey to Indigenization; truth, reconciliation and decolonization for the weeks of Sept. 22 – Oct. 4. This can be found on the Indigenous Mount Royal website. I truly hope that many of you can/will participate in these very important events.

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