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University of British Columbia apologizes for role in residential schools

On April 9, the University of British Columbia opened its Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, a $5.5-million facility that will house records collected by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The centre will allow survivors, their families, researchers and the general public to access the maps, photos, survivor accounts and other documents while also facilitating discussion. In his opening remarks, UBC president Santa Ono apologized for the school’s role in perpetuating the residential school system. This is what he said:

I begin today by acknowledging the history of the Indian residential schools, a system that caused harm for more than a century. On behalf of the university, I apologize to all of you who are survivors of the residential schools, to your families and communities, and to all Indigenous people for the role that this university played in perpetuating that system. We apologize for the actions and inaction of our predecessors, and renew our commitment to working with you for a more just and equitable future, her in British Columbia as well as in Canada. There are many aspects to the work we must do, and today we are here to acknowledge one of them: the public opening of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre. This centre represents a commitment on the part of this university to address the history of the schools that did so much harm, for so many people.


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