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ACWS’s Statement on the Discovery of 215 Children at the Kamloops Residential School

June 9, 2021

Content warning: the below discusses topics that may cause trauma to some readers. This post discusses residential schools, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and the ongoing traumas experienced by Indigenous people. The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program has a hotline to help residential school survivors and their relatives suffering with trauma invoked by the recall of past abuse. The number is 1-866-925-4419. You can also access long-term health support services such as mental health counselling, community-based emotional support and cultural services and some travel costs to see Elders and traditional healers.  

 

The discovery of 215 unmarked graves of children who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School has impacted the country, revealing a horrific truth that residential school survivors already knew and that many settler Canadians are now only beginning to grapple with.

We grieve with the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities who are reacting to this tragedy. We stand with you. We are committed to doing better and to upholding the findings of both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. ACWS will be reaching out to our Indigenous partners as we work on next steps.

ACWS will be observing 2 minutes and 15 seconds of silence at 2:15 pm on Thursday, June 10, to honour the 215 lost children. We invite you to join us in taking this pause, as we call on you to join us in the ongoing work of undoing the colonial legacy and building a better, more inclusive future.

— Jan Reimer, Executive Director of ACWS and Gaye Warthe, President of the Board of Directors