Kamloops Residential School

Graves of First Nations, Indigenous and Metis Children

We mourn the loss of 215 young bodies buried under the residential school in Kamloops, B.C. It is a stark reminder of the enactment of the ‘Indian Act’ and the unconscionable declaration by John A Macdonald to ‘Kill [ ] the Indian in the Child’. This resulted in the horrific reality of innocent lives lost…and ‘killing’ the child. And we know, as Murray Sinclair has attested, we need to ‘understand the magnitude of the truth of this experience’. And we must also recognize the impact of trauma perpetrated not only on these children and those who have yet to be found but the resulting despair of survivors and their families that will be sustained over their lifetimes.  What will each of us now do in the spaces we occupy to first acknowledge what this country we call Canada has done to the First People and how will we grasp hold of this ‘truth’ and act to ensure ‘never again’. “Every kid should be able to get a clean glass of water,” said Cindy Blackstock1. It is time to make that possible.

Lynne Raskin                                                    Michelle Hurtubise
Executive Director                                           Chair of the Board

1 Executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada. She is also a professor for the School of Social Work at McGill University

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