The recent report that the remains of 215 children were found on Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc lands at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School continues the anguish and trauma of Indigenous people caused by colonization and ongoing systemic racism. Generations of Indigenous people endure the pain of genocide, violence, and dislocation.
Join us in asking government to implement all remaining Calls to Action of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and provide the necessary resources to communities. Only 8 of the 94 Calls to Action have been completed since the TRC report was published in 2015. Calls to Action 71 to 76 speak to Missing Children and Burial Information, and ask that federal government, churches and agencies work with Indigenous communities and former residential school students to locate children and develop and maintain registries. The National Student Memorial Register names and mourns the children who died in residential schools and recognizes that much work still must be done to find others who never came home.
TRC Chair and former senator Murray Sinclair said in a statement in response to the report that “Since the revelation of what has happened at Kamloops has come to light, I have been inundated with calls from Survivors. Hundreds of calls, often just to cry. I can hear not only the pain and the anguish, but also the anger that no one believed the stories they had told.”
Please also join us in calling on government to act, now, on the 231 Calls for Justice outlined in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
CLAS is dedicated to the ongoing work of addressing the impacts of colonization on Indigenous peoples. We continue to educate ourselves on the experiences and cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada to inform our work, to strive to do the work of decolonization and to apply an anti-racist lens to our services. We support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to make the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples a reality in our province and in Canada.
We express our deepest condolences to the families and communities of all those who lost their lives in residential schools and to those that continue to live with the trauma.
Please share the details in your communities of counselling support for Indian Residential School Survivors in distress, at: IRSSS Emergency Crisis line 24/7 at 1-866-925-4419 or 1-800-721-0066 or KUU-US: Adult 250-723-4050, Youth 250-723-2040.
On behalf of the CLAS staff and board of directors,
Jacqui Mendes, Executive Director and Jane Dyson, Board President
CLAS response to Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nation Report [PDF]