The Department of Anthropology expresses its deep condolences to the families, friends and communities of Colten Boushie, Tina Fontaine and all Indigenous young people whose lives have been cut short. We deplore the failures that contributed to their untimely deaths, and mourn the foreclosure of the beautiful stories their full life journeys might have told.
We are mindful that structural and physical violence and cruelty and hatred pervade the lives of too many Indigenous women, girls, men and boys while Canada remains merely on the threshold of decolonizing. We join colleagues across the country in committing to the decolonization of our teaching, research and society. We renew our resolve to support and work with Indigenous peoples and all those who are engaged in the transformative processes of truth and reconciliation and whose activism is realized in the healing movement.
As anthropologists, we repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, the notion of terra nullis and the claims that attend them. We will continue to support and strengthen relationships based on principles of mutual recognition, mutual respect and shared responsibility for framing, forming and maintaining these relationships into the future.