School District #23 statement on former Kamloops residential school
We offer our condolences to the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, who are greatly impacted by news of the mass grave of 215 children at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. We also extend our condolences to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Elders, children, parents, and community members who continue to feel the hurt, oppression, and intergenerational trauma from Canada's forced residential schooling for Indigenous children.
From 1870-1998, over 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their families and forced to live at schools established by the federal government. Last week's news is a heartbreaking reminder that many of the Indigenous children who suffered in the residential school system never returned to their homes and families.
"We are deeply saddened by what has been revealed at the Kamloops Residential School,” said Moyra Baxter, Chairperson for the Board of Education. “This is a grim reminder of Canada's dark past. We mourn alongside our nation's Indigenous peoples."
To honour those who have suffered trauma and harm at the former residential school in Kamloops, and their families and communities who are mourning, all schools will lower the Canadian flag to half-mast until further notice. Additionally, students and staff may be seen wearing the colour orange this week in honour of all Indigenous children who were forced into the residential school system.
Reading about this recent finding will be traumatizing for many members of our community. The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is 1-866-925-4419.
For further information to learn more about what you can do to engage in reconciliation, please reference the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's 94 Calls to Action.