At Vibrant Communities Calgary, we have struggled to put emotions on paper that adequately reflect the impact of the news released about the 215 children recently found at the Kamloops Residential School site. Today, we are feeling profound sadness at the magnitude of this loss, grief about the lost impact that each one of these 215 children would have had on our communities if they had lived (many of these children would have been Elders today), and anger at the fact that – while shocking – this news is not surprising.
We echo the National Association of Friendship Centres’ calls to action for partners and all orders of government. We support the work of the Alberta Native Friendship Centre Association and Friendship Centres in Alberta as they work to provide critical wrap-around supports that directly address the root causes of poverty in Calgary for the benefit of the communities they serve:
- Read or re-read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and related reports
- Review the TRC Calls to Action and recommit to their implementation
- Support Orange Shirt Day
- Commit to child welfare reform in ways that uphold the rights of Indigenous children
- Develop a national Indigenous child wellbeing framework that reflects the diversity of Indigenous children in Canada.
VCC extends its deep condolences and support to the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc community and all Indigenous People. We commit to continuing action on Enough for All’s Goal Three that all Indigenous People are equal participants in Calgary’s future, and to hold space in this work that recognizes the intergenerational trauma that continues to reverberate through the lives of individuals, families and communities and the thousands of Indigenous people who cannot participate because of this genocide.
Executive Director, Vibrant Communities Calgary
The National Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if you are ever in need of emotional support.