It is with a heavy heart that the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres writes this message. Our ancestors taught us that when one of our people suffers, we all suffer; when one of our people cries, we all cry, and today we cry for the 215 children buried in an unmarked grave at the former residential school site, Kamloops, BC. We cry and grieve with the children’s families, their communities, their nations, their ancestors. Our prayers, our compassion and our love, we give to the families of the 215 Tk’emlups te Secwepemc children. They are our children, our relatives. We honour the 215 children, may they always be remembered.
We are horrified by this discovery of the human remains of children. Families and First Nations across the country have long spoken of children who went to residential schools and never returned home, they were not believed – the recent discovery of the human remains of 215 CHILDREN speaks volumes of ‘denied’ truth. It’s time Canada listens openly, sincerely and respectfully to the lived experiences and truths of survivors. It’s time Canadians demand answers from their government and churches as to why there are hidden mass graves of First Nation children. Canadians must demand accountability for the abuses and deaths of Indigenous children.
While we appreciate the lowering of flags to honour the 215 Children, more action is needed. Justice must be served for the 215 children.
We call on Canada and the Catholic Church to be responsible and accountable for the deaths and cover up of the 215 children. We call on Canada to investigate every former residential school site for unmarked graves, for we know there are still many more children who never made it home.
To all the Survivors of residential schools from coast to coast to coast, and to the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc, we stand with you.
We also acknowledge and hold our Elder Percy Casper in our prayers. Elder Casper is a survivor, spending ten years at the Kamloops residential school, and he is a member of our Board of Governors.
Canada, 215 – never forget this number. Our Children Matter.
SOURCE Indigenous Experience