Truth and Reconciliation: An ongoing commitment

Image graphic of National Day for Truth and ReconciliationThis week, on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Canadians will collectively honour the strength and resilience of Indigenous people, while acknowledging our shared history and the continued detrimental impacts of colonization and residential schools.

On September 30, I encourage each of you to take time to reflect on your individual commitment to engage in reconciliation. This is an important step toward meaningful change and healing.

The real work, however, cannot be done in a day.

Learning the hard truths and unlearning individual prejudices and systemic racism is a continuous journey. To truly dismantle systems of oppression, this process must be paired with a commitment to ongoing action – not just on September 30, but all year round.

Our School is committed to the essential process of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, which is why actions to support this are explicitly laid out in the five-year Strategic Plan.

Whether you are a learner, a faculty member or a Schulich employee, I urge you to refamiliarize yourself with how the School is going to drive necessary change through clear and decisive actions. All of us will play a role in making Schulich Medicine & Dentistry – and our community – a more inclusive, welcoming, and equitable place to be.

I would also like to connect you with resources that may be helpful as you strive to embed the spirit of truth and reconciliation in your own journey:

  • Western’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives has organized a series of events designed for everyone in the Western community to learn and reflect in the spirit of reconciliation. You can learn more about the Office’s plans for enabling system-wide change to advance truth and reconciliation here; and,
  • On September 30 and beyond, you can dedicate your time to learning, unlearning and reflection upon Indigenous history in Canada. A good place to start is the website or Western University's Office of Indigenous Initiatives website.

Lastly, I want to thank and recognize the many of you in our Schulich community who are committed to doing the important work required to drive lasting change. Whether you’re trailblazing a path despite facing entrenched, systemic barriers, or continuing to ask the tough questions of yourself and those around you, I recognize and applaud your efforts.


Dr. Sukhveer Bains, MD
Acting Associate Dean, Equity Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western University

John Yoo, MD, FRCS(C), FACS
Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western University