☛ CNW Group (press release): “Inauguration of Peace Garden key event – Dawson College 5th year commemorations to focus on peace”, September 7, 2011. Photo: CNW Group/Dawson College.
Five years ago on September 13, 2006 a young man named Kimveer Gill opened fire just outside the entrance to Dawson College, in Montreal. He then entered the school and resume shooting, killing one student and injuring 19 others. Cornered by police officers, he eventually committed suicide.
About the inauguration of the Peace Garden as a living memorial to those events:
The inauguration of Dawson College’s Ecological Peace Garden, the realization of a promise made on the first anniversary of the shooting rampage that took the life of student Anastasia De Sousa, left 16 people injured and a community shattered, will be the key event of the five-year commemorations on September 13, 2011 in a ceremony beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the west lawn of the downtown campus.
The Peace Garden is a living memorial to Anastasia’s spirit and to the courage and strength of those who were touched by the tragedy of September 13, 2006.
We have learned so much in these five years,” said Richard Filion, Director General of Dawson College. “We have learned about the depth of human compassion from our neighbours and friends in the wider Montreal community and beyond, about the strength and courage of our students and our colleagues, and about the need to push forward, to embrace the ideals of peace and non-violence.”
The Peace Garden will be dedicated in the presence of members of the Dawson community, past and present, and invited guests including the De Sousa family, the students and employee who were injured, representatives from the different levels of government, members of the Service de Police de Montréal and the Police Chief, Urgence Santé paramedics, doctors, nurses, and support staff from McGill University Health Centre and the Montreal General Hospital, psychological support units from the Centres de santé et de services sociaux, past and present Dawson student government leaders, peace ambassadors from UNESCO and the United Nations, aboriginal and educational leaders, and friends of the Peace Garden. (College Dawson: “September 13th Commemoration”)
More information online:
- The Dawson Peace Garden Fundraiser website:
On September 13, 2006 a lone gunman entered Dawson College in Montreal and began shooting. Two people died, 16 were injured and the entire country was in shock. One year after this tragic event, the College announced its commitment to create a peace garden both as a living memorial to the student who lost her life, Anastasia De Sousa, but also as a testament to the courage and determination of all the survivors, the injured, their families and the entire community.
- Dawson College will also host a three-days conference for the occasion: “Youth and Violence. The Role of Education” (September 29 to October 1st, 2011).
The conference will examine the elements, internal or external to school systems, that may contribute to violent behavior and will explore the potential of educators, particularly in post-secondary education, within and beyond the classroom to reduce violence in schools and the larger community.
The issue of school violence has received growing attention in recent years, but the focus has thus far has been on promoting nonviolence in elementary and secondary schools. The Dawson College/ACCC Conference seeks to expand on this by examining how violence prevention can be integrated into institutions of higher education.