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Indian Residential School Day of Learning | September 2013


Did you know…

…that there were two residential schools that operated in the Fraser Valley, one in Mission (St. Mary’s) and one in Chilliwack (Coqualeetza)?

…that during 1880-1996 over 150,000 Aboriginal children — some as young as four — were forcibly removed from their homes to live in the Indian Residential School systems, and that others were designed to extinguish Aboriginal culture?

…that the last Residential School closed in 1996?


The University of the Fraser Valley's Indian Residential School Day of Learning took place at UFV's Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope, and Mission campuses on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. Indian Residential School survivors, Aboriginal Elders, community members and other special guests joined UFV students, faculty, and staff in a day of presentations, interactive panels, films, readings and displays.

The day was chosen to coincide with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's national event in Vancouver. The Commission was established to gather testimony and to inform the Canadian public about the history and effects of the residential schools. The goal of the UFV event, like the national event, was to bring Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people together, sharing and working on healing, and renewing relationships based on knowledge, mutual understanding, compassion, and respect.

The UFV Senate, recognizing the significance and value of the work of the Commission and this important educational and community-building opportunity, supported the establishment of this Day of Learning at UFV, and agreed to cancel classes so that all students and faculty could participate.

Two residential schools operated in the Fraser Valley (St. Mary's in Mission and Coqualeetza in Chilliwack). It is vital to the work of UFV and the development of the Fraser Valley that we learn about the impact these schools had on the Aboriginal people of our region, and the legacy of the attitudes, policies and practices that led to the mistreatment of Aboriginal children and their families.

With sincere appreciation,

Mark Evered
President & Vice-Chancellor
University of the Fraser Valley


Learning outcomes

In order to focus on the student experience, the following learning outcomes were developed for the Indian Residential School Day of Learning:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal perspectives of the Indian Residential School experience, and its multi-generational impacts and ongoing consequences.
  • Pursue self-reflective learning in relation to the two residential schools that operated in the Fraser Valley: St. Mary’s in Mission, and Coqualeetza in Chilliwack.
  • Develop cooperative approaches toward healing, reconciliation, and positive relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

For more information about the history and legacy of the Indian Residential School, watch the videos from the Indian Residential School Day of Learning at UFV on our resource page. 

Indigenizing the Academy Gathering at UFV | August 2012

As summer turned to fall in 2012, 275 delegates from 33 post-secondary institutions came together at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Aboriginal Gathering Place. The purpose of the gathering: to discuss Indigenization — a way of making the university welcoming for Indigenous cultures, knowledge, learners, faculty, and staff.

Discussion groups included members of the Aboriginal Elders, community, students, administrators, faculty and indigenizers.

Over three days, two keynote speakers, multiple guest speakers, and discussion groups produced what we called S’iwes Toti:lt Q’ep — Teaching and Learning Together. This platform contains videos of the keynotes, reports, findings, discussions, requests for feedback from scholars and community.

Note: The S’iwes Toti:lt Q’ep — Teaching and Learning Together blog is no longer being updated and is maintained for archival purpose only.