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Sept. 29, 2021

Dear UAF students, faculty and staff,

Many communities across the United States and Canada are holding space tomorrow, Sept. 30, in recognition of the survivors of boarding schools for Indigenous children, of those who did not survive, and of their descendants. This day of remembrance is held on the same day as Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Alaska has its own challenged history with boarding schools, and the legacy of that continues to affect individuals, families and communities at all levels of our education system, including the university.

UAF assistant professor Dr. Jessica Black will co-host the First Alaskans Institute’s “Coffeetime on Healing” Facebook event on Sept. 30 from 10 a.m.-noon. Sept. 30 is also Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt Day was first launched in 2013 and is based on Phyllis Webstad’s story of entering an Indian residential school in 1973 and having her new orange shirt removed from her and replaced with a school uniform. I encourage you to wear something orange as a symbol of solidarity.

UAF is a place where we all come together with respect, diversity, inclusion and caring. We acknowledge the harms of the past while also striving toward greater equity.

Thank you for choosing UAF.

— Dan White, chancellor


UAF is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination/.