Along with others honoring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently discovered at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia, Green and Spiegel stands in solidarity with the families and communities haunted by Canada’s mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples. This is a tragic reminder that Canada’s story includes cruel acts of racism and colonialism. We must remind ourselves that Canada’s shameful residential school system only halted 24 years ago, and its effects are intergenerational. As Canadians, we need to acknowledge and address the collective trauma amongst the indigenous community as we are continuously learning more about the injustices they faced and continue to face due to Canada’s maltreatment.
It should not be horrendous discoveries and tragic stories that create social awareness and change, but head-on education and action. Moving beyond acknowledgment and symbolic gesture, we must commit to truth and reconciliation through learning and understanding.
Following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) Call to Action #57, we encourage government leaders and communities to provide educational awareness on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy surrounding residential schools.
A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide support to former residential school students and those affected. You can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-Hour National Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4416