This message contains sensitive content and could be triggering. For crisis support here in BC please contact the KUU-US Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717 or visit Mental Health and Wellness Support page for additional support services.
This horrific news will have a significant impact on the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc community and all other First Nations communities and families whose children attended residential school. With the legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada a part of everyday lived experience for First Nations people, this discovery means individuals in BC and across Canada will be reliving grief and pain. Taking care of our mental health and coping as we are triggered is essential.
Supports include the KUU-US Crisis Line, Tsow-Tun-Le-Lum Society and the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society. Contact information for services is below, and other resources can be found on the FNHA website.
We will call upon our ancestral teachings and ceremonies as we support the families and communities whose children attended this school and especially to those whose children never came home. As partners in the made-in-BC Health Governance Structure, our response in the coming weeks and months will be aligned with the needs and protocols of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc community and Secwépemc Nation, within whose territory this Indian Residential School is situated. We also extend this support to all communities throughout BC.
We express our appreciation for Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc efforts to conduct this investigation in a culturally sensitive way. We also honour and acknowledge our Chiefs, Traditional Leaders and Matriarchs for their wisdom as they are called upon to support their communities during this time. We stand with them and support them.
Assemblies, rallies, and protests are one way in which people can express their shared views and beliefs about important matters such as the tragic situation in Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc. Participating in these gatherings may, however, lead to increased risk of COVID-19 transmission if proper precautions are not taken. See this guidance from the BC Public Health Office about outdoor assemblies, rallies and protests during COVID-19.