Yesterday, members of our community gathered in the Shingwauk auditorium to express and share thoughts and feelings about the Colten Boushie death and our concerns regarding the impact, implications, and some of the deeply problematic responses expressed within sectors of Canadian society. Our sharing circle focused on concern for the family and community of Colten Boushie and we express our sincere condolences. As a community, we are also very concerned about the impacts on Indigenous people across Canada and for Anishinaabe students, faculty, staff, and our broader community.
As a community, we recognize that systemic racism continues to permeate Canadian society and threatens the possibility of moving forward on the Truth and Reconciliation: Calls to Action and Beyond, in a meaningful way. As such, we support the Boushie family in their call on the Canadian government to review the justice system to ensure equity and fairness for all Canadians.
Algoma University and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig are located on the site of the former Shingwauk Indian Residential School. We take seriously our responsibility to challenge the systemic racism and other barriers that are faced daily by Anishinaabe peoples (First Nation, Métis and Inuit) in Canadian society in general and in our community specifically.
In honour of Colten Boushie, his family and others, our University community will light a sacred fire in the Biidaabin Arbour and will organize a series of activities and ceremonies including a healing circle. During this time, we will foster dialogue and will engage in strategies to deepen our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion for everyone on campus and in the broader community.