September 2021

Committing ourselves, personally and professionally, to the work of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples across this country is the most vital work of our time. Hearing and absorbing the truth of the ongoing and inter-generational impacts of Indian Residential Schools and other colonial policies on First Nations people, Métis and Inuit in Canada are essential to the reconciliation journey.

This summer, we were confronted with the confirmation of unmarked graves at Residential School locations across Canada. So many children who were taken and housed in these places never returned home. The grief and trauma of this truth is still felt today in every First Nations, Métis and Inuit community.

As former senator Justice Murray Sinclair said, “It is precisely because education was the tool of oppression of Aboriginal people, and miseducation of all Canadians, that we have concluded that education holds the key to reconciliation.”

WHITEHORSE, YT—Yukon University is joining universities and colleges across Canada in cancelling classes and closing campus services on Thursday, September 30, in honour of National Truth and Reconciliation Day and Orange Shirt Day.

“The confirmation of unmarked graves at former residential schools this year weighs heavily on us. To achieve truth and reconciliation, it is vital we invest time this week learning more deeply about the impact of residential schools on Indigenous people and our shared history,” said Dr. Lesley Brown, president and vice chancellor, Yukon University.

“All Canadians should have the same understanding of history and its impacts if we are to understand each other. It's not about placing blame or dredging up past wrongs. We have to have a shared history to move forward together,” said Chùsi Robin Bradasch, associate vice president Indigenous Engagement and Partnerships.

$22,200 in financial support available to YukonU students; Oct. 1 deadline approaches

WHITEHORSE, YT—Yukon University students can access $22,200 in financial support from generous donors, including several being offered for the very first time. Many award deadlines are October 1, with a further $24,300 available January 31.

The $500 Andrew G. Smith Scholarship for Commitment and Vision is available to full-time students enrolled in the Renewable Resources Management (RRM) or Northern Science programs. Smith graduated from the RRM program in 2015 and has since created this award for students with drive and vision to excel.

"It's important for me to give back to the program and school that has given me so much. The leaders of the workforce of tomorrow are the leaders in the classroom today, and those outstanding individuals deserve to be recognized," said Smith.

Dear students and colleagues,

Yukon University is thrilled to be welcoming students, employees and the public back to campus this month. Despite the collective challenges of this worldwide pandemic these past 17 months, enrolments across all three semesters last year ended up on par with the previous year and heading into this new semester enrolments are up 9% over this time last year.

This semester, 60% of credit classes are in-person (or contain an in-person component) and 40% are online. A significant number of Continuing Education classes will be in-person at the main campus as well.

Science, and our lived experience of the pandemic thus far, has shown us that vaccinations—alongside other measures like masking and physical distancing—are the most effective ways to protect against COVID-19 and keep each other safe.

WHITEHORSE, YTYukon University is welcoming students back to Ayamdigut campus in Whitehorse this week.