EPCOR takes action on incident at Edith Rogers School
On Friday September 25, EPCOR was contacted by Edmonton Public Schools who reported an incident involving racist comments and disrespectful actions towards participants in a smudging ceremony at Edith Rogers School. The actions were attributed to employees of a sub-contractor (Wilco Contractors Northwest Inc.) working at an adjacent construction site for an EPCOR dry pond project under the control of a contractor (Sureway Construction Group).
EPCOR does not condone racism or hate of any kind, and we thank the students and staff who brought this incident to our attention. Their actions to speak up against racism are commendable. EPCOR took immediate action to shut down construction site until an investigation could be completed, and we have been in communication with school officials, witnesses, the contractor for the site, and the sub-contractor.
Wilco Contractors Northwest has terminated the staff involved, and issued a statement regarding their response and additional commitments they are making. Both Wilco and Sureway have agreed to join EPCOR in funding a $30,000 donation to the Edmonton Public School Board's amiskwaciy Academy, which provides students with academic programming and the opportunity to participate in traditional ceremonies, rites of passage, and Indigenous arts.
As we look ahead to Orange Shirt Day on September 30, we are mindful that racism and prejudice towards Indigenous peoples continues to happen every day in our communities. It is incumbent on all of us to take action. We sincerely apologize to the students and staff who were harmed by this disrespectful act, and we again thank them for speaking up. Without their action, this conduct might have gone unaddressed. Their voices mattered.