Every Child Matters
It is difficult to express the sorrow Canada is feeling right now with the discovery of 215 children’s remains at the Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia.
I remember last year during the Black Lives Matter Protest in July; several Indigenous speakers came out to bare their soul to the community. They explained how the presence of residential schools took away their culture, their languages, their teachings and, ultimately, their lives. The speeches were heartbreaking, raw, and eye-opening.
The last known Residential School, the Gordon Residential School in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, closed in Canada in 1996.
Within the last 30 years, the Indigenous communities were still subject to abuse at a level that is incomprehensible.
I, along with all in our community, mourn for this inexcusable loss of life, of innocence.
I understand that this news has affected many in different ways and although there are many in Canada who know of the schools and are advocating for truth and acknowledgment, the news can still take a toll. If you or if someone you know are struggling with this announcement, there are many counseling supports services available.
A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.
Within B.C., the KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous-specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's toll-free and can be reached at 1-800-588-8717 or online at kuu-uscrisisline.com.
Canada must do better. We need to educate, support and promise to do the utmost for our Indigenous communities, survivors, and descendants. The Government of Canada needs to continue to investigate all previously-known residential schools so all unmarked graves and uncounted children, are able to rest.