Statement on the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

We are saddened by the recent news of the 215 Indigenous children found in a mass burial site at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Territory. This loss of life must be acknowledged and grieved.

We share our deepest condolences with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, and we mourn with all of the families impacted by the Residential School System. Our thoughts and hearts are with the community. The PEA will continue to do the work to support meaningful reconciliation by providing education to our members on the history of the Residential School System, acting in solidarity with the survivors, and advocating for Indigenous rights.

The atrocities these children faced are a reminder of the significant work that needs to be done as part of the calls to action that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada has made. These calls to action acknowledge the cultural genocide, loss of life, and intergenerational trauma that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities continue to experience.

We call on the federal government, in support of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, to take action on all 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Report.  As individual Canadians, we all have a responsibility to do our part in supporting reconciliation and the mourning, healing, and recognition of this history and the lives that were lost.

If you aren’t familiar with this history, now is the time to learn. Read the TRC report, learn and research about whose land you live on, connect with elected officials and tell them to take action, and donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society of BC:

Shawna LaRade
PEA President

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