TORONTO – Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, issued the following statement on the discovery of the remains of Indigenous children at a former Kamloops Indian Residential school in British Columbia:
“Our government, alongside Ontario Regional Chief Roseanne Archibald, was shocked and saddened by the discovery of remains of 215 children on the former site of a residential school in Kamloops, B.C. To pay respect to these children, their families, and survivors of Canada’s residential school system, Premier Doug Ford has ordered provincial flags to be flown at half-mast.
Effective immediately: IRSSS (Indian Residential School Survivors Society) Emergency Crisis Line is available 24/7 for those that may need counselling support from this report. Call 1-800-721-0066 or 24hr Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419.
The residential school era is a dark chapter in Canada’s history, with Indigenous families and communities continuing to experience multi-generational trauma as a result of this terrible system. This discovery hits close to home for many Indigenous people across the country and here in Ontario who lost family and community members to the residential school system.
We continue to strengthen relationships with Indigenous partners to support healing and make reconciliation real by advancing initiatives that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of Indigenous people and communities.”