For immediate release
May 28, 2021
Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is issuing this statement in response to news that the remains of 215 children were found buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.
Grand Chief Garrison Settee states:
“This is incredibly tragic news. It is a stark reminder of the prolonged attempts to wipe out First Nations people throughout Canada in the name of religion. The discovery of the remains of 215 children is triggering for so many of us. We continue to feel the impacts of residential schools within our own families and within our communities. My hope is that the families who lost their children at this particular school can find some closure and healing.
MKO stands in solidarity with all First Nations that are impacted by the loss of innocent children. We also commend the Tk’emlups te Secwépmc First Nation for their commitment to finding these children and ensuring this was done in a culturally respectful way.
Although this situation is unfolding in British Columbia, Manitoba also has a dark history of burying children in unmarked graves on the sites of residential schools. We know there are unmarked graves of at least 54 children between the ages of 7 to 16 years old at the Turtle Crossing Campground in Brandon, Manitoba—where the Brandon Residential School was once located. Children from Northern Manitoba attended residential school in Brandon and we mourn those we have lost.
It is important that we continue to talk about and share our knowledge of the legacy of residential schools. The impact of the schools continues to affect all of us today. The healing work needs to continue. MKO will continue to honour residential school survivors and we will continue to remember those children we have lost.
I encourage all Canadians to keep learning about this important part of our collective history and to stand with us as we work to heal from the intergenerational trauma inflicted upon us due to the residential school system.”
For more information:
Melanie Ferris, Communications Officer
Email: [email protected]