Last week, we learned of an unthinkable loss when the remains of 215 children were discovered in a mass grave at the site of a former residential school in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory near Kamloops, B.C. We are heartbroken by this news but reminded that more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were forcibly taken from their families and placed in residential schools between the 1870s and 1997. Many were abused and thousands never returned home.
Acknowledging the country’s dark past is important in order to seek reconciliation and change the future. We are so deeply saddened and mourn the loss of these innocent lives, and while vigils and memorials are a beautiful way to honour the children we feel more needs to be done.