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.
On May 27 the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc 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 Secwépemc, 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.
Acknowledging the traditional territory of the K’omoks First Nation , Snaw’Naw’As First Nation (Nanoose) and Qualicum First Nation as the traditional keepers of this land