This week our hearts ache for the families and friends of the of 215 children found buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. For so long we have heard the unfolding story of the atrocities committed at Residential Schools, where children were stolen from their families, and stripped of their languages, culture, traditions, and ways of knowing. We have heard for years from Indigenous people, and have now all recognized the truth that so many of these children did not survive and that this is not an isolated event.
From truth, our minds turn to reconciliation. Nothing we do can possibly compensate for the lost childhoods, the lost memories of family, and the ongoing impact of intergenerational trauma on Indigenous communities. However, we can acknowledge the ways that government policy and institutions continue to cause unspeakable anguish for generations of Indigenous people in Canada and raise our voices to centre Indigenous ways of knowing within the education system.
As an organization we are sending our support for Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation and all Indigenous communities who are mourning. We are holding space to think about our role as educators living in treaty partnership, and finding ways to respond to the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in order to address past and present policies that continue to marginalize Indigenous children and adults to this day.
We encourage our community to sign this petition calling on the government of Canada to use ground penetrating radar to examine all the school grounds of all former historic Indian residential schools in Canada: