As were many across our country, STAR Catholic School Division was heartbroken to learn the recent news from Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation of the discovery of the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
On Monday, May 31, flags were lowered at all school sites in honour of these children, and in tribute to their family members and communities who are reeling from the pain and trauma this discovery has inflamed. We grieve with those impacted by this news, and we pray for these innocent children and all who suffered from and continue to feel the impacts of the long-lasting damage caused by the residential school system.
Though there are no words to accurately convey the sorrow and pain of this discovery, STAR Catholic School Division reiterates our commitment to an ongoing journey of learning and reflection. We pledge to continue listening to and learning from our Indigenous partners and surrounding communities to deepen our understanding as we work towards truth and healing.
As we know that many Indigenous children did not return home to their families from residential schools, we encourage the Government of Alberta in its recent commitment to researching undocumented residential school burial sites within our own province. We believe this is a necessary step on a shared path towards the goal of reconciliation.
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is for any former residential school students or anyone experiencing pain or distress from a residential school experience. The Crisis Line can be accessed 24-hours a day by calling 1-866-925-4419.
June is National Indigenous History Month. All Canadians are encouraged to learn about the cultures, voices, experiences, and histories of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people, including residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action. Read more on the Government of Canada’s website.