November 11, 2022

Dr. Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice-chancellor
Toronto Metropolitan University U                                                                               

Dear Dr. Lachemi,

As a courtesy, I want you to know that I appreciate the stress and the heaviness of the workload that you and your core leadership have endured over the last few years. 

Having said that, I appeal you to allow researchers which includes academics, historians, journalists, and myself access to all Standing Strong Task Force files from all SSTF meetings that took place in group or virtual settings, and preferably uncensored. 

A while back, the Lynn McDonald, a former MP, made the same request to your chief of staff, Michael Forbes. She was told the University was reluctant to share SSTF files, and even more puzzlingly, she was also informed that certain SSTF files were redacted – which leads me to ask, “does TMU have a policy of full transparency?” 

At this stage of the contentious shift from RU to TMU, I’m only looking to restore Egerton Ryerson’s humanity, which was wilfully destroyed by a suspect ideology. 

What was done to Ryerson, the man, was unconscionable and a disrespect to the Indigenous students who attended Residential Schools and who died in them – trust me, the children had witnessed enough violence in their short lives, they didn’t need to be symbolically included in the Gould Street spectacle amid the profanity and violence, but the deed has been done, and there’s no going back. 

To the point, I seriously need access to the Task Force files, to reference my research on the humanity of Egerton Ryerson. As a defender of Ryerson’s life, I will approach the SSTF files as I do all my projects, without bias and without malice. 

Thanks in advance, yours respectfully,

Len Fortune 

Ryerson Polytechnical Institute alumnus, 5 years, Photo Arts and Journalism …
Truth and Reconciliation Ambassador, Anglican Church Niagara Diocese …
Original founding member of Qalipu First Nations …
Author of:

‘A’ is for Assimilation – 2011
Act Indian, Not Indian Act – 2013
Truth and then Reconciliation: A Trilogy – 2016