Photo courtesy of CTV News Northern Ontario
The Right Relations Resource Team and the Canadian Shield Regional Council would like to offer our condolences to the communities and families who have been affected by the heartbreaking discovery of 215 children on the grounds of the Kamloops Residential School. We stand with the Secwépemc people, Indian Residential School Survivors, their families and their communities as they process this tragic loss. This is an awful part of the history and ongoing legacy that our country bears.
Based on its ongoing research, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concludes that more than 4,100 children died while in the care of the residential school system. The 215 children whose remains were discovered on the grounds of the former Kamloops residential school are undocumented. It is believed that there are many more unmarked graves on the grounds of other Residential Schools.
We call upon the Government to immediately take steps to honour the TRC’s calls to action by providing sustainable funding for existing and new Indigenous healing centres to address the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual harms caused by residential schools and to provide resources to locate and repatriate all the children who died while in Residential Schools.
A statement and prayers from Indigenous Ministries and Justice at The United Church of Canada can be found here: Statement and Prayers from the Indigenous Ministries and Justice at The United Church of Canada.
We also offer the following suggestions for steps you can take right now.
1) Donate to Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society or the Healing Fund of The United Church of Canada
2) Read the TRC report – this should be essential reading for all Canadians
3) For Non-Indigenous people check out https://oncanadaproject.ca/settlerstakeaction
For those who are affected by this news – please seek out support. Indian Residential School Survivors and Family 1-866-925-4419; First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line 1‑855‑242-3310.