Statement about the event planned for November 17

November 12, 2021

The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre fully supports and concurs with the President’s condemnation of and call to cancel the event, planned to take place on Tuesday November 17, which purports to deliver an honest conversation about Canadian residential schools and mass graves.

The truths of the residential school system in Canada, including the human rights injustices faced by and harms caused to former students, have been and are being documented through extensive evidence-based testimony and records. This documentation includes but is not limited to the Truth and Reconciliation review and findings. Along with the university, the Centre supports Indigenous people and communities to know, hold and share those truths. We understand that Survivors and intergenerational Survivors hold ultimate authority over the truth of their experiences.

Alternate versions of these realities are grounded not in freedom of speech but rather in hatred, and there can be no place for them at UBC. We support the President’s call for the immediate cancellation of this event. We also call for social media platforms to refrain from distributing hate-based propaganda and have reported our concerns regarding the promotion of this event to Facebook.

For accurate and Survivor-centred information about the residential school system in Canada and mass burials, we encourage people to review recent Publications by the Centre and to visit the website of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.