A Message Regarding the Discovery of 215 Children Buried at Kamloops Residential School

Trigger Warning: This post contains disturbing information about colonization/residential schools

CUPE BC and CUPE 2081 stand in solidarity with Indigenous colleagues, friends, and communities as they mourn and process the recent discovery of 215 Indigenous children buried at Kamloops Residential School (Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation).

We ask that you give Indigenous communities space and time for grieving as they process this traumatizing information. Please be mindful about what you share on social media as much of this information is triggering. It is not the job of Indigenous communities to educate non-Indigenous folks about these traumatic experiences. We encourage everyone to educate themselves, and resources are provided below. This is 215 more reasons to hold the federal government accountable for their role in systemic racism, Indigenous genocide, and violence towards Indigenous peoples.

For non-Indigenous folks, here are some education resources to consider:

http://www.trc.ca/resources.html for a comprehensive list of resources from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
https://www.ualberta.ca/admissions-programs/online-courses/indigenous-canada/index.html for a free course that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada from an Indigenous viewpoint.
https://legacy.camosun.ca/about/teaching-learning/events/ttw.html  for Camosun employees, TTW is a free course which provides insight into an Indigenous worldview

For support services, here is a list of resources:

Indian Residential School Survivors Society: https://www.irsss.ca/
Indian Residential School Survivors and Family Crisis Line at: 1-866-925-4419. The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential school experience.
The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support offers Counselling support. They can be reached at: 1-877-477-0775. They provide former Indian Residential School students and their families–regardless of status or place of residence within Canada–with access to counselling, cultural, and emotional support services.
KUU-US Crisis Line: 1-800-588-8717
Tsow-Tun-Le Lum: 1-866-925-4419
Suicide Crisis Line: 1-800-784-2432
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 or text: 686868

We honour the survivors and their families who face intergenerational trauma as a result of residential schools. We must never forget the children who lost their lives, and we strive to do everything we can to meaningfully reconcile with Indigenous peoples.