Our hearts are heavy as we mark the one-year anniversary of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announcing the discovery of the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
The discovery of these burial sites confirmed the truth that residential school survivors have long known, that the abuse and loss of life was much greater than previously acknowledged. Over the past year, multiple other residential school sites, in British Columbia and across Canada, have shared findings of unmarked burials, missing children and exposed the need to address the continuing legacy of the residential schools on families, First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities, and all of us.
We stand in support of Indigenous people and communities working to expose the full truth of the Indian residential school system and with those calling for justice for these children who did not return home. Of those who did not return home, some ran away, were lost forever, or died while at the school. Those who did return must be recognized as having survived these atrocities.