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Grieving The 215 Children Of The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Tragedy

We grieve for the 215 children of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc tragedy

There are no words that reflect the experiences, pain, loss, and injustice of the Indian Residential School System, including the most recent news of the remains of 215 children found on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc in a mass grave on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. These children were taken from their families, forced into the Residential School system, and were in the stewardship and care of the settler state.

This tragic news provides some answers for many of the missing children identified by Indigenous Elders, residential school survivors, and other witnesses and documented in the Truth and Reconciliation Report. Confirmation of the fate of these children is devastating for communities and all treaty people. We share in this profound grief and despair.

We humbly recognize and reflect upon the ongoing injustice, and systemic discrimination Indigenous People still face. We offer our condolences for the children who did not survive and never made their way back home. We express our most profound empathy for the survivors who carry the heavy burden of intergenerational trauma.

Flags at Bow Valley College are lowered to half-mast and will remain so for 215 hours. We ask everyone to take a moment of silence at 2:15 p.m. today to honour each child and reflect on each of our journeys toward reconciliation and reciprocity.

Bow Valley College is working towards Truth and Reconciliation through our Indigenization Strategy. We will continue our critical work that connects our Indigenous students to Elders and recommit our efforts to ensure all in our community learn about Indigenous culture and history.

For those seeking support, we have shared some resources and services below:

  • Indigenous students can seek supports through a range of resources at the Iniikokaan Centre
  • Students that need support can book a counselling appointment by emailing counselling@bowvalleycollege.ca
  • Employees can connect with the Employee Family Assistance Program via Homeward Health
  • Former Residential School students and survivors: 24-hour National Indian Residential School Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419
  • First Nationals and Inuit Hope for Wellness 24/7 helpline: 1-855-242-3310 or connect to online chat at www.hopeforwellness.ca/
  • 24/7 Distress Centre: 403-266-4357

 


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