As an organization that serves children, the discovery of the bodies of 215 children in a mass grave at the Kamloops Indian Residential School breaks our hearts. We send out our love to all those impacted.
After discussions as a staff team yesterday and today, we felt that honouring is not enough. Colonization and cultural genocide live on in the institutions that have governed the lives of First Nations, Metis and Inuit children in past, and still do today.
Change happens through education and action. We don’t pretend to know the way forward, so we are doing our best to listen to the voices of leaders such as Dr. Cindy Blackstock. Dr. Blackstock is an activist for child welfare and Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. She is the source behind many of the resources outlined below, much of which was compiled by Jennifer Bowser — our thanks go out to her as well. As a staff, we are working through these recommended actions in an effort to create change, and we invite others to consider joining us:
- Reach out to government representatives. Respectfully demand action on all the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Calls to Action. Call on the government to stop fighting First Nations kids and residential school survivors in court and to stop blocking the creation of statistical reports on residential school abuse claims and the direct transfer of other records to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. We need these truths.Find your Member of Parliament at https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en and email/write/call/Tweet/Insta/Facebook messages. MP:
Also, reach out to The Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada; the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations;the Minister for Indigenous Services, and the Office of the Prime Minister.
- Sign the petition to Call for a day of mourning
- Sign the petition to have ground penetrating radar inspect the grounds of all historic Residential Schools
- First Nations Caring Society — 7 ways to make a difference: https://fncaringsociety.com/7-free-ways-make-difference
- Learn about ongoing causes seeking Justice within First Nations communities and the lands they protect https://projectofheartontario.ca/social-justice-actions/
- If you’re able, donate to the Indian Residential School (IRS) Survivors Society (www.irsss.ca). They are a B.C. organization providing important services to IRS survivors.
Here are some links to further educate yourself and your family:
- Watch this 8 minute documentary on why so many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children died from preventable disease, abuse, and neglect: https://www.youtube.com/embed/Bz6-TIRBWRY
- Talk to your kids about Indian Residential Schools. A great resource is the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society’s “Spirit Bear” who has published 3 children’s books that address residential schools: https://goodminds.com/pages/search-results-page…
- Familiarise yourself with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action 71-76, which specifically address Indian Residential Schools. 5 years after the report only 8 of 94 calls to action have been implemented:http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf
- Check out these informative resources to learn more:
If you have Indigenous friends and family across the country consider checking in on them. They are grieving.
May we walk a path of Truth and Reconciliation together.