The recent events in the United States and Canada have been weighing on me heavily. These events have shed a light on the racism that still exists in our world today and individuals across the globe are coming together to speak out. This racism has most recently been seen in the US with the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota and in Canada with the recent killing of Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation mother in Edmundston, New Brunswick. In these times of turmoil, I want to reiterate and explicitly state that we stand with our Black and Indigenous students, faculty, staff and community members in the fight against racism.
Built into the foundation of the College of Dentistry at the University of Saskatchewan, is a focus on inclusive community care: we champion respectful, patient-focused care for diverse individuals and groups, regardless of age, culture, geography or other socio-economic factors. As a part of our values, we aim to ensure our graduates are not only technically competent, but socially sensitive and ethical as well. We aim to advance employment and education equity through our policies and practices, in particular, to address the needs of Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and visible minorities.
We continue to build a college and a work and learning environment that is safe, inclusive and welcoming for all. We recognize that this is an ongoing process and there are always ways to improve. We welcome feedback from our students, faculty and staff on how we can do better to eliminate racism.
We believe that our college and university is meant to be a place that celebrates diversity, a place where different individuals from different communities can come together in a safe and inclusive place to learn. USask calls us to Be What the World Needs, and part of achieving this vision is continuing to fight against racism, to speak up against injustice and to stand in solidarity alongside minority communities.
These times have been challenging for many individuals across our campus. The university provides a range of services that are available to students, faculty and staff to help support mental and emotional health. The Student Wellness Centre and the Student Affairs and Outreach have resources for students, and staff and faculty are able to access confidential counseling through the Employee and Family Assistance Program.
To our Indigenous and Black students, faculty and staff at all our campuses and clinics across Saskatchewan, know that we support you; we stand with you. Indigenous Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter.
Dr. Doug Brothwell
Dean, College of Dentistry
University of Saskatchewan