Trigger Warning: This article includes information about Residential School experiences
We share in the grief and outrage expressed across B.C., Canada and the world for the trauma and harms done at the Kamloops residential school – and all residential schools – to so many children, their families, and communities.
As First Nations work to determine the next steps at that site and other possible sites in the province, it is important that we take our guidance from the respective First Nations.
The Tk’emlúps te Secweěpemc are leading the response and next steps. The community has asked everyone to reacquaint themselves with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Final Report and Calls to Action, and for people to wear orange shirts as an act of solidarity and to start conversations.
Truth and Reconciliation Committee Reports
Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. Summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada: https://ehprnh2mwo3.exactdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Executive_Summary_English_Web.pdf
Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action: https://ehprnh2mwo3.exactdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf
On May 27 the Tk’emlúps te Secweěpemc reported finding remains of 215 children buried on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
So many children were forever taken from families and communities that loved them, and who could not properly mourn them and put them to rest. Last week’s announcement makes that truth real, and very painful.
The immense sense of loss, grief and pain felt by those families and communities is unimaginable and our thoughts are with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, Indigenous communities across Canada and Indigenous peoples on the BC Wildfire Service team.
We acknowledge with deep respect the work of the Tk’emlúps te Secweěpemc, as caretakers of these children.
This discovery is a stark reminder of the importance of reconciliation, holding space for the past and doing everything we can to build a better future.
The BC Wildfire Service joined the province in lowering flags to half-mast to honour and respect the stolen children from the former Kamloops Residential School and residential schools across the country.
Reconciliation is an ongoing process. There is much more to be done, and we are fully committed to doing this work.
Every day our team take steps to strengthen relationships with the Indigenous communities and nations we work in and protect around the province.
Fire Centre Manager
Coastal Fire Centre
BC Wildfire Service | Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Phone: 250 947-2614 (New) | Cell: 250 203-0621
Report Wildfires: 1 800 663-5555 or *5555