Dr. Peter J. Ricketts,
President and Vice-Chancellor

From the President's Desk


Recent messages from federal and provincial public health officials have been encouraging and clear – the COVID-19 vaccine will allow us to be together safely sooner.

I am pleased to report that Acadia has recently approved a vaccination policy for students and employees. While vaccination is not mandatory, it is strongly recommended, and we are striving to reach a fully vaccinated campus community status.

Canada Day is approaching, and along with it, anticipation for a much-needed holiday.
 
As an immigrant to this country, I remember my sense of pride when I took my Canadian citizenship pledge. I never imagined that some 35 years later, I would attend the same ceremony at Acadia as its President and welcome our Prime Minister to campus, and then welcome so many excited new Canadians.
An aerial image of University Hall and Raymond Field. Drone footage by Andrew Tolson.

Sometimes we all need a break, and this year, we need it more than ever.

As you know, Acadia University will close on July 1 for Canada Day. Today, I am announcing the University will remain closed on Friday, July 2, 2021, to provide employees with a four-day long weekend.

The Mi'kmaq Grand Council flag flies over University Hall on a sunny summer day.

Today, June 21, is National Indigenous Peoples Day and the official start of summer. So as we welcome the summer season, we also celebrate Indigenous peoples in Canada – their history, culture, language, wisdom, and knowledge.

For those of us who are not Indigenous, it is a time for us to express our gratitude and our joy to live in a country with such a deep Indigenous heritage. It is a time to appreciate the richness that Indigenous People bring to Canada. As Treaty People, we share this great country with those who can trace their ancestry back thousands of years on this land.

Flags on University Hall will fly at half-mast today and for the next few days in memory of the 215 children whose remains were discovered in a mass grave at the former residential school in Kamloops, BC. The lowered flags are also in honour of all the victims and survivors of Canada’s residential school system, in which the lives of Indigenous children were treated with neglect, disrespect, and violence. We must recognize that while the Kamloops gravesite is far on the other side of the country, these atrocities occurred right across Canada, and in our own back yard at the Shubenacadie Residential School. Sadly, it is highly unlikely that this is the only mass grave associated with a residential school.