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Statement of Support for the Indigenous Community at Laurentian University

 CSRC Right Relations Resource Team

In 1986, at The United Church of Canada’s General Council meeting in Sudbury, Moderator Bob Smith offered the words of an apology on behalf of The United Church of Canada, to Indigenous peoples.  To commemorate this important moment in history, and as a reminder of the work that is still to be done, a cairn was erected at the site, with permission from Laurentian University. Since then, the goal of living into reconciliation has been an important part of the work of The United Church of Canada. 

We, as members of the Right Relations Resource Team within the Canadian Shield Regional Council of The United Church of Canada, would like to express our deep concern and anger at the restructuring and dismantling of the Indigenous Studies program at Laurentian University.  As a people of faith who are committed to the work of reconciliation, we can not remain silent.

In an open letter to protect the Indigenous Studies program signed by over 1400 faculty, Indigenous community leaders and others it was stated that:

 “The termination of the Indigenous Studies program in Sudbury at Laurentian would represent a significant turning away from Laurentian University’s Tri Cultural Mandate and its commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action on Indigenous Education. It would have an immense impact on Indigenous communities and Canada and would represent the first Indigenous Studies program to be shuttered since the discipline began in 1969.”

The termination of such a program would be a further act of Colonization. 

CSRC Right Relations Resource Team

Calls to Action

Please consider taking one of the Calls to Action included with this statement. 

Calls to Action
Adapt this statement if you wish, for your own use (as an individual or a congregation) and send it to everyone concerned: Ross Romano, Provincial Minister of Colleges and Universities, Laurentian University President Robert Haché, Premier Doug Ford, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, your MP and your MPP and others as you see fit.  
(Addresses below.)  
Choose from list of suggested actions by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and the Ontario Federation of Labour at: https://northernsolidarity.ca/en/take-action/
Petition those in power:
Ask your MP to work to scrap the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) before it is applied to other valuable public institutions in Canada.
Contact information:
Premier Ford: https://correspondence.premier.gov.on.ca/EN/feedback/default.aspx
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: https://pm.gc.ca/en/connect/contact
Minister Ross Romano:  https://rossromano.ca/contact/
President Robert Hache: president@laurentian.ca
To contact your MPP: https://www.ola.org/en/get-involved/contact-mpp
To contact your MP: https://www.ourcommons.ca/en/contact-us
Additional Reading and Letters of Support
The Letter of Solidarity written by the North Bay & Area Mission Cluster’s Indigenous Solidarity Team 
How can Laurentian University’s ‘Indigenous perspectives’ program idea do what Indigenous studies does? Posted on April 16, 2021 In Anishinabek, News
By Dr. Mary Ann Corbiere
An open letter to protect Indigenous Studies at the Laurentian University Federation
Visit Save our Sudbury/SauvonsSudbury’s facebook page for ongoing and up to date information and action items


Click on the button below for your downloadable copy of the RRRT Calls to Action:

Calls to Action