Statement by Indigenous Health Initiatives to Indigenous Students at the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry on Indian Residential School Burial Sites

As Indigenous peoples, the effects and horrors of the Indigenous Residential School System continue to impact and haunt us all today, especially with the news of the growing amount of burial sites being confirmed across the country. The impact of this news is being deeply felt by Indigenous students and others at the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, and indeed by people throughout the world. Oral stories of our Elders and other survivors have long told us this truth.

While strides have been made to reconcile the past, we must acknowledge there remains a significant amount of work left to be done. Part of this includes our own healing as Indigenous peoples. As future health-care providers, you will have a positive effect on your communities through your knowledge of the extent of the harms caused by residential schools—and the pathways you are taking in your own healing journeys.

Indigenous Health Initiatives will be holding ceremonies and sharing circles next week for those students and faculty who wish to participate. Please contact for more information. For immediate assistance, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Hotline can be reached at 1-866-925-4419.

Dr. Wayne Clark
Executive Director, Indigenous Health Initiatives

Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn
Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Dr. Shirley Schipper
Vice-Dean, Education