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VCC Board Chair message: Commitment to truth

Posted on March 4, 2022

Journey to reconciliation

A message from Joey Hartman, Chair, VCC Board of Governors

Over the past few weeks, Canadians have learned about more residential school burial sites in Keeseekoose First Nation in Saskatchewan and Kapawe’no First Nation in Alberta. Once again, these announcements are reminders of the painful legacy residential schools have left on Indigenous communities and families across Canada.

On behalf of the VCC Board of Governors, I want to extend our sincerest condolences to the Keeseekoose and Kapawe’no First Nations, and Indigenous peoples across Canada, who have been impacted by these devastating events.

As educators, learners, and leaders it is our responsibility to listen and engage in dialogue about the past and how we can take part in building a more equitable future for Indigenous communities in this country.

It is a commitment of VCC that true progress towards reconciliation cannot be made without furthering accessibility and equity for Indigenous people who look to us to be a part of their life’s journey. 

VCC is on a journey towards decolonization, indigenization, and reconciliation. This work is rooted in a thoughtful understanding of history, an acknowledgement of past and persisting racism, and a commitment to improve educational and career outcomes for Indigenous people in B.C.

It is not easy, nor should it be. VCC’s Strategic Plan has indigenization woven through every element. The college has engaged in an authentic and intentional review of all of its processes, from policy to instruction, to ensure that Indigenous perspectives and ways are acknowledged, recognized, and elevated. This level of change requires us to think and act differently, driven by a moral imperative to right these systemic wrongs.

A key part of this work is to face the painful history of residential schools in Canada, and acknowledge that this is the truth, as we continue towards reconciliation.  

Our thoughts are with those affected by residential schools across the country. We recognize this news is challenging. If you need support, please contact the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1.866.925.4419.

As well, both Vancouver Coastal Health and the First Nations Health Authority have resources and supports for residential school survivors.




Joey Hartman,
VCC Board of Governors