UNB: Recognizing National Indigenous History Month
Jun 23, 2020
June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada. This represents a time where we honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous Peoples, and recognize the strength of present-day Indigenous communities. National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, is an opportunity for the broader community to learn, appreciate and acknowledge the contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.
The University of New Brunswick stands on the unsurrendered and unceded traditional Wolastoqey land. Our university has a comprehensive Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan and we are deeply committed to its implementation. Additionally, our recently approved strategic vison, UNB Toward 2030, identifies the importance of and our commitment to Piluwitahasuwawsuwakon1 which means “allowing our thinking to change so that action will follow in a good way toward truth.” This commitment applies to all the pillars of our strategic vision.
National Indigenous History Month reminds us of the important responsibility we have to build a better future. UNB would not be where we are today as a progressive university community if it were not for the committed and visionary work of many people, especially those at the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre, as well as our Piluwitahasuwin. Their commitment to peace and friendship inspires positive institutional change and we are grateful for their leadership.
Ultimately, this important work will require more engagement across our university community, to embrace a more fulsome understanding and appreciation of Indigenous history and culture. This is an essential cultural journey for the UNB community and it will take cooperation and commitment to walk along the path to reconciliation, peace, and friendship.
It is my hope that everyone at UNB will reflect on the lessons of National Indigenous History Month, as well as the events occurring in New Brunswick and across the world. I recognize the important role we each have in advancing the values of peace and friendship across the university and the wider community.
Dr. Paul J. Mazerolle
President and Vice-Chancellor