Joint President-AVP Reconciliation statement on the findings on the former Chooutla Indian Residential School

Orange hand print on a white background

To our community,

Today our hearts break with the affirmation of the deaths of First Nations children, and the identification of potential burial sites, near the former Chooutla Indian Residential School.  This announcement confirms another appalling truth of about the treatment of First Nations children. It is a truth we cannot turn away from if we are to walk with integrity on our journey of reconciliation.

So today we come together, in grief and love, to honour the lives of these children and to hold up Survivors, their families and communities.

Going forward, we must never forget the injustice and cruelty that allowed these children to die alone far from home. We must choose to create a future where every child matters. This means not only having the right intentions, but also being prepared to follow through with right actions.

At Yukon University, we commit to our own learning and unlearning journey to understand the legacy of residential schools and on-going trauma experienced by Survivors and their families, so that we will never again stand for the practice of taking children from loving homes, families and communities, stripping children of their languages, their heritage, their dignity, their rights and exposing them to violence in their learning environments.

In honour of the findings released today, the flags on the Ayamdigut campus will be lowered to half-mast and remain lowered until sunset on Monday, Oct. 2nd. Orange cravats will be tied to the poles of flags that are assigned but vacant, to symbolize our respect.

Today is a difficult day. We find ways to come together in grief so that we may find ways to come together in healing.

With respect,
Dr. Lesley Brown
President & Vice-Chancellor
Yukon University

Gä̀gala-ƛ̓iƛ̓ətko (Nadia Joe)
Associate Vice-President, Reconciliation
Yukon University

Supports available at YukonU

Students: Contact the Connect2YukonU team to connect with a counsellor, an Elder or services for Indigenous students. Call 867 668 8800 or email

Employees: Visit My Family Assistance Program on MyYukonU for more details or contact our two Employee Assistance Program providers directly at Nimco and Associates 867 668 3277 or 867 668 6059 / Family Services Employee Assistance Program (FSEAP) 1 800 667 0993 (Password: 2bwell).  

Supports beyond YukonU

For more information, please contact

Dr. Bronwyn Hancock

Vice-Provost, Academic and Research

Academic and Student Services