UFAWU-Unifor is grief-stricken by the recent discovery of the 215 children found buried on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory, whose lives were taken by the violence and abuse suffered within the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
This horrific discovery is further evidence of the violence and cultural genocide which took place at Canada’s residential schools for more than a century.
The immeasurable impacts of these institutions are still being uncovered across the country — making it clear that reconciliation in Canada is far from over.
We mourn the lives of the precious souls who did not survive the horrendous violence they endured; the 215 murdered children found, the children yet to be found, and those we may never find.
We stand in solidarity with survivors, their families, their communities, and pledge our sincere determination in the pursuit of meaningful reconciliation and justice for the atrocities endured by Indigenous people in Canada.
May peace and vindication be near for those who have suffered.
A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available and can be reached at 1-866-925-4419.
Counselling services for those who attended an Indian Residential School can be accessed through The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program.
UFAWU-Unifor members are also encouraged to demonstrate their solidarity with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and those affected by this tragedy.
For those looking to help, UNIFOR has identified eight ways its members can make a positive impact:
- Unifor supports the 94 recommendations issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They are an urgent call to action for government and organizations to take meaningful action on many outstanding issues, ranging from protecting language and culture to education to ensuring justice for the victims of residential school violence.
Contact your Member of Parliament and demand they be a vocal supporter of the 94 Calls to Action within their caucus and to government.
- Add to Unifor’s $10,000 donation to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation to build community solidarity and support:
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc
200-330 Chief Alex Thomas Way
Kamloops BC, V2H 1H1
- Add to Unifor’s existing sponsorship of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) “Honouring the Gifts—MKO Youth Cultural Celebration” youth arts festival beginning June 21 (National Indigenous Peoples Day) and carrying through to June 25.
- Donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
- Participate in Indigenous History Month, which starts Tuesday. Unifor is coordinating action and activities across the country to fight for truth and reconciliation. Visit org/ihm2021 to find out more.
- Learn more by participating in Unifor’s Turtle Island webinar series.
- Encourage support for local and regional organizations, programs and initiatives to engage in active reconciliation with Indigenous people.
- With all of your efforts, please amplify Indigenous voices in your community.
UPDATE: The Office of the Chief of Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc has released a document outlining ways in which the public can appropriately support the community during this time. To access the document, please click here.