Principal Update: flags and reconciliation
June 1, 2021
A message from Dr. David Malloy, King's Principal
As we start Pride Month in Canada, King’s University College was to celebrate the raising of the Progress Pride flag, which we hope is a symbol of King’s as a caring and inclusive place for everyone. We have decided to postpone this celebration while we honour the lives lost in the Canadian residential school system. Later this month, we will release a video about the Progress Pride flag and what it means to the King’s community.
We have started to fly the Progress Pride flag today, at half-mast. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, on Sunday May 30, King’s lowered its flags for 215 hours to honour the lives of the 215 children who were students at the Kamloops Residential School in Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation territory. The Progress Pride flag will remain at half-mast, along with all our flags, for 215 hours.
We recognize that reconciliation means nothing without action. At King’s we have a lot of work to do to create more and wider pathways to education for Indigenous students, faculty, alumni and community members. As an educational institution, our purpose is to have impact in society through teaching and research. We are currently working on reconciliation for our community including:
- Member of Southern First Nations Collaborative with a shared commitment and responsibility to prioritize the needs and interests of aspiring, former and current post-secondary education students who are members of SFNS First Nations.
- King’s University College Students’ Council supports awareness of issues facing Indigenous communities and peoples, including annually sponsoring Indigenous Awareness Week, The Red Dress Project in support of missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and Orange Shirt Day related to impact of residential schools in Canada.
- All student leaders and Student Affairs employees engage annually in educational and awareness activities related to their roles in advancing the developing of programs that engage and support Indigenous learners at King’s and Western.
- King's is matching donations up to $25,000 for the establishment of a new endowed student award for Indigenous learners.
- The development of the Reflection Circle on the King's Green, providing an outdoor location for sacred gatherings, such as smudging ceremonies, for the indigenous community.
- Principal’s annual Lecture in Contemporary Indigenous Issues.
- Member of Indigenous Post-Secondary Education (IPEC) at Western, where we seek to listen and consult in an effort to advance Indigenous ways of learning and knowing on our campus.
- Partner with the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and Indigenous Services at Western to provide a range of services for and with Indigenous learners including admissions, academic advising, personal and financial support.
Use of the Progress Pride flag further demonstrates our commitment to inclusiveness on our campus. The Progress Pride flag was purposefully chosen for King’s for its inclusive representation of marginalized communities, including marginalized People of Colour and Indigenous peoples, represented by the brown and black half-sized stripes. The raising of the flag is a starting point to further position King’s as a community seeking to care for the whole person while affirming the identities of all peoples. We strive to be a community that is learning, reassessing, and responding to our ever-developing collective knowledge as it relates to equity, diversity and inclusivity initiatives.