Dear members of the McGill community,
I am very pleased to share that archeological investigation of the site of the former Royal Victoria Hospital resumed today following an agreement between the Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera, the Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI) and McGill.
You may recall from my previous update that a reprehensible act took place on the site on July 25 when a security guard directed offensive remarks to the Cultural Monitors named by the Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera as they were inappropriately told to leave the site after the archeological work had stopped for the day. McGill and the SQI were unequivocal in denouncing the security agent’s conduct.
The SQI, which is responsible for security on the site, took immediate action to deal with the issue and ensure such an act does not recur. Work on the site was halted as discussions took place between the SQI, the Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera and McGill to find a path forward in which the archeological work could resume in a way that everyone felt safe.
In this new agreement, site security will continue to be overseen by a firm appointed by the SQI. At the same time, two representatives of a separate security firm, selected by the Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera, will also be present on site to accompany the Cultural Monitors, whom the Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera have appointed. The parties have agreed to put this plan in place for a trial period, hoping it will lead to peaceful and productive working conditions.
We are very pleased to have reached this agreement and that critical archeological work is resuming.
As always, we will continue to provide updates as work progresses.
Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)