The Department of Religions and Cultures echoes the grief and horror
felt over the recent revelations near Kamloops and Cranbrook B.C. as
well as at Cowessess, Sask. We express sympathy and condolences to the
families of residential school survivors across Canada. To honor the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action and in response to
Concordia’s Indigenous Directions Action Plan, our department commits
ourselves to research Concordia’s historical links to residential
schools and to publicizing our findings, especially in our departmental
To this end, the department is supporting Ph.D.
candidate Colby Gaudet in conducting research on the history of the
founding institutions behind Concordia University. Loyola College, which
merged in 1974 with Sir George Williams University to form Concordia
University, was a Jesuit institution. The college had its roots in the
same Roman Catholic missionary movement of the 19th century that
established a Jesuit-run Residential School for boys in Spanish,
Ontario. Additionally, the Grey Nuns of Montreal, whose historical
motherhouse and property is now a central part of the Concordia campus,
were founders of nineteen Residential Schools and hospitals in the
Canadian west and north.
We must continue to learn together
about this dark and painful era of our nation’s history. As a
department, we are invested in working to transform the ways we teach
about the history of Christian traditions in Canada and the impact these
traditions have had on Indigenous communities and individuals. Let us
remember and honor the children at Kamloops and elsewhere.
The Concordia University Department of Religions and Cultures strongly opposes Quebec Bill 21. This discriminatory law uses identity for political gain. It supports ideologies and practices that target and marginalize minorities, restrict opportunities, and encourage intolerance. The members of our department believe that a just and equal society must be built on tolerance and understanding.
The Concordia Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies presents a new, online reading series of new writing by younger voices featured in Ruth Panofsky’s anthology The New Spice Box: Contemporary Jewish Writing.