Statement in Solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC)

We stand with you in pursuit of a better world for all peoples.

12 June 2020

Dear Fellow Graduate Students,

The GSA stands in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) individuals and communities, and condemns all forms of racism, discrimination, and state-sanctioned violence. Recent events have exposed, once again, the prevalence of racism in our society, but we recognize that racism is more pervasive than individual outrages; it is both systemic and institutionalized.

The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless victims before them are the latest developments in a long history of anti-Black racism, a history with direct links to Canada's own deeply cruel acts against Indigenous peoples. While it is easy to condemn events that have transpired outside of our borders, Canada's legacy of racism is equally insidious and demands acknowledgement. We recognize the burdens of anger, fear, and pain that BIPOC carry as the result of the maltreatment they have endured across generations and stand as allies alongside them. While the GSA will continue its work to support BIPOC graduate students at the University of Alberta, we also know that further education, listening, action, and the amplification of BIPOC voices are required.

The GSA will continue the work of bringing forward the concerns of BIPOC individuals to University administration and government, both in the context of various governance committees and through direct meetings with key decision makers. We will also continue to spearhead projects to make our campus safer, more equitable, and more inclusive for BIPOC graduate students, in dialogue with the Black Graduate Students' Association and the Indigenous Graduate Students' Association. Additionally, the GSA will continue to pursue learning opportunities to facilitate support mechanisms for graduate students whose studies at the University of Alberta is hindered by colonial structures and encourage all GSA members to do the same. As an initial step, we have compiled the below list of learning and empowerment resources:

For those seeking University-provided and other supports, please know that the below resources are available to you:

  • First Peoples' House - Maintains both FNMI Elders and a Wellness Coordinator Social Worker who are remotely available to support students seeking support

  • ACCESS Outreach Team - 1:1 community broker social worker support, social navigation and assistance available through virtual channels with some options for in-person support if necessary

  • Counselling & Clinical Services - Can provide remote psychological support to students through 1:1 counselling, in addition to group sessions, with nuanced support available for LGBTQ2S+ students as well as the general student population

  • University Health Centre - Appreciating that some students feel more comfortable seeking mental health support from their family physician, the University Health Centre continues to offer in-person consults (by online appointment) and telehealth/virtual health consults

  • Resources for BIPOC - Compiled by the ACCESS Open Minds team

  • Black Youth Helpline - Supporting and helping youth nationwide

We welcome all forms of input from our members, colleagues, and friends most affected in these trying times, as we strive to become ever more capable and effective allies. We stand with you in pursuit of a better world for all peoples.

In solidarity,


Marc Waddingham, GSA President 2020-2021

Statement from Black Graduate Students' Association

We are deeply saddened by the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, United States and Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Toronto, Canada.

We cannot imagine the grief that their deaths have left in their families. We cannot imagine the loss to the Black communities in the US and Canada.

We condemn violence of any sorts, especially the violence directed against Black and Indigenous people in Canada.

While we wait for JUSTICE to run its course, we want to reassure all our Black brothers and sisters at the University of Alberta and its environs to stay strong, resolute, and united.

We encourage all those identifying as Blacks in the University of Alberta, to kindly reach out to us via email:

Let us know how we can help you, what we can help you with. Please count on us for any support whatsoever. We will remain united in solidarity against anti-Blackness in our society.

We shall continue to welcome any forms of allyship in this time of great stress, violence and COVID-19 across Edmonton and Canada.

We appreciate the support we have so far received from other racial minorities and the non-Black communities, and assure you that such support means a great deal to us.


Black Graduate Students' Association (BGSA)
University of Alberta

Statement from the Indigenous Graduate Students' Association

We, the Indigenous Graduate Students' Association Executive Team, stand in solidarity with the BlackLivesMatter movement, and with all Black, and Black-Indigenous, Indigenous and all other Persons of Colour who have faced police brutality and oppression. Our executive team is firm in our anti-racist stance, as we are acutely aware of the systematic racism that exists in our society. We will not stay silent as this type of abuse is perpetuated.

The murder of George Floyd at the hands of those who are supposed to protect has left many feeling anger, fear, and exhaustion. There is a need for community at this time, and so we extend support and empathy to any BIPOC student at the University of Alberta (U of A) who has been traumatized by this tragedy. You are not alone. We stand with you. Your anger is our anger - at the unbearable injustice of what has happened. Your fear is our fear - fear that BIPOC people cannot participate in society, free of harassment. We are tired but we will not stop fighting.

Over the past few days we have heard many stories from Black and Indigenous folx from our own community in Edmonton, who have spoken about their experiences of mistreatment at the hands of Edmonton Police Service (EPS). It is undeniable that this abuse and violence stems from systematic white supremacy. Therefore, we call for EPS to make deep change. We call for them to install anti-racist training and continual awareness raising for all members of their service. We call for them to develop non-violent methods. We call for them to immediately dismiss any member of their service who has a history of brutality or racism. We call for them to form supportive, listening relationships with the BIPOC communities they serve. We extend this call to all police services across Canada.

For our part, the IGSA executive team will continue to stand up and speak out about the instances of racism that we continually encounter within the university environment. We will continue to advocate for and uplift BIPOC students. We will educate ourselves so that we can make greater change. We will resist white supremacy in all its forms.

We also commit to better alliship with other BIPOC student groups on campus, and to promoting alliship with our members. As such, we invite any affected member of the student community who needs to connect to reach out to us at We will do our best to facilitate online sessions to build, support and sustain safe relationships across the campus community.