As human beings, people of faith, advocates for vulnerable families, mothers, fathers and sisters, we are heartbroken at the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.
We recognize that the painful history of forced separation of children from their families, together with the physical, sexual and psychological abuse suffered by these children, is part of the devastating historical trauma of Indigenous people in Canada. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified more than 3,200 children who died at residential schools. Nearly a third of them were unnamed. The efforts to find the names of these children have been underway for years.
We honor and remember the children taken and the families and communities left behind. We recognize that every child matters. We mourn the lives lost and extend our condolences to Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, survivors, families and all Indigenous communities throughout Turtle Island and the world.
We stand in solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters and support the call for nationwide searches for mass graves at all residential school sites. The history of violence, pain and trauma must be acknowledged to move forward on the path of true Reconciliation.