Along with the rest of the world, we are devastated to learn that the remains of 215 Indigenous children at Kamloops Residential School have been found. There are no words that can capture the enormity of the grief and betrayal against First Nations People. This is not just Canada’s history, it is our present reality of ongoing colonial violence and genocide.
We join First Nations communities as they demand justice for the families and survivors of the residential school system and accountability from the Canadian government and Catholic Church.
Survivors are calling for an inquiry into unmarked graves, the full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation report actions and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry recommendations.
We are listening to First Nations women, and will be continuing to amplify their calls to action as we meaningfully respond as individuals and an organization.
On Tuesday 1 June, the Native Women’s Association released an action plan called Our Calls, Our Actions, regarding the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Gender- Diverse People. We strongly recommend you read this action plan, and we are awaiting the Federal Government’s action plan which will be released on Thursday 3 June.
We would like to recommend the following resources for settlers to learn, listen and take action:
Donate to the The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS),
Donate to and follow Idle No More
Donate to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
Read the Truth & Reconciliation report (2015) and Power and Place: The National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls
Email your municipal, provincial and federal elected officials asking what actions they are taking to ensure the TRC and MMIWG report are being implemented
Explore the resources on the OnCanada Project, Settlers Take Action page - including reading recommendations and books for children
Organize a 215 seconds of silence at your organization or workplace, one second for each young life lost
Learn about and donate to the Highway of Tears Sister Totem Poles
Platform, a non-profit Canadian organization working to uplift marginalized voices has shared a reading list of memoirs, novels, and reports on the histories and continuing intergenerational trauma and lived discrimination of Indigenous communities and the residential school system:
Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
Mamaskatch by Darrel Mcleod
Métis History & Experience and Residential Schools in Canada (3 Reports) by Chartrand, Logan, and Daniels
Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School by Jack Agnes (32 testimonials)
21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality by Bob Joseph
Surviving Canada: Indigenous Peoples Celebrate 150 Years of Betrayal edited by Myra Tait and Kiera Ladner
Genocidal Love: A Life after Residential School by Bevann Fox
They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars
YouTube videos from Indigenous Activist Pam Palmater