Peel Children’s Aid Society mourns and grieves the 215 children whose remains were recently discovered in a burial site in Kamloops, and all the children who never returned home from the Residential School System in Canada. This is stark reminder of a hideous chapter in Canada’s relationship with our Indigenous Peoples.
It is with great sadness that Peel CAS sends out condolences to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation community, and to all Indigenous communities grieving this tragedy. We stand in solidarity with all Indigenous Peoples in Canada as we mourn the loss of the children who were ripped away from their families, from their way of life, from their traditions and cultures and sent to residential schools and some ultimately to their death.
We recognize that this horrendous act is not an isolated incident. The story of the 215 children in Kamloops is one that was repeated over and over in residential schools across the country. The tragedy of residential schools is not only history but also an ongoing trauma for indigenous families and communities. The abuse and neglect that these children were subjected to and the traumatic impacts of residential schools continue to this day. All Canadians must learn about the history of residential schools, the impacts of colonization, and the racial oppression that amounts to cultural genocide by the Canadian government toward Indigenous Peoples.
Peel CAS recognizes that it is our responsibility to not only learn and remember the truth about the past but work towards Truth and Reconciliation. This recent tragedy serves as a reminder of the need for us to move forward on our continuing implementations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action.
Peel CAS believes that it is our collective duty to remember and seek justice for the victims of the residential school system. We stand firm in our commitment to the advancement of reconciliation and cultural safety for Indigenous Peoples.
If you are in need of support, you can contact the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line 24-hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.