CUPE Fraser Valley District Council Statement on Kamloops Residential School







Last week 215 children’s remains were discovered at the former Kamloops Residential School which was operational from 1890-1978. We stand in Solidarity with the Indigenous Communities across Canada as they mourn this loss. Our hearts go out to all the children, many as young as three years old, who did not make it home as well as to the loved ones who never got a chance to see their children grow up or to know what happened to their children.

It is a great sadness to learn of this mass grave and our thoughts go out to the survivors of the residential school system, and particularly to members of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation who are grieving. Read the statement from the Office of the Chief.

It is important to acknowledge that many of our Indigenous members are grieving and may need additional support.  The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419. You may also connect with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, which provides Counselling, Health Support and Cultural Support to Survivors of Indian Residential Schools:

It is important as settlers to understand Canada’s true history and

to be an active participant in reconciliation as Indigenous people cannot reconcile alone. Some examples of things that you can do to support Indigenous peoples at this time:

  • Wear orange on May 31st, 2021 in solidarity with the Every Child Matters movement for residential School Survivors. Many Indigenous people may be wearing Orange throughout May 31st-June 9th,2021 to honour the children who have been found.
  • Respect and support the Indigenous people in your life by doing your research and not asking them questions about the residential schools while they grieve.
  • Research the history of Kamloops Residential School and other residential schools near your territories.
    Get familiar with the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada reports.
  • Write a letter to your MLA requesting that they honour the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action particularly articles 71-76 which are calls to action regarding Missing Children and Burial Information.
  • Donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society

Read more statements:

CUPE Statement

CUPE BC Statement

BC Federation of Labour Statement