“We Must Do Better” Indigenous Groups, RMWB Speak Out After Remains Of 215 Children Found at B.C. Residential School

The discovery of remains of residential school victims in Kamloops is leaving many in the RMWB calling for action.

Over the weekend, the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found buried which has once again highlighted the injustices these schools committed for decades.

For years, children were taken from their families, many never having the chance to be re-united, and suffered from both physical and mental abuse.

Despite many believing these atrocities took place well before their time, the last residential closed in 1996.

“We have heard the stories of what happened at the schools from our elders and family members who survived and who are still with us today,” said Bill Loutitt, CEO of the McMurray Métis.

“To all those impacted, especially our members who were forced to attend, know that our hearts are with you.”

The Fort McKay Métis Nation wants to see records from these schools be shared and governments determine the culpability of those involved.

This isn’t a new request but rather a call for action to finally be taken.

“The role of government, churches and individuals must be investigated, and accountability sought, regardless of whether the decision makers are alive, or dead,” added Ron Quintal, President of the FMMN.

“This discovery should also necessitate a forensic investigation of all residential school sites. Healing won’t come without full knowledge and justice.”

Meanwhile, the municipality paid their respects to the children by lowering their flags and temporary pausing all services and activities on Monday at 2:15 p.m.

“We must do better. We must find the truth, acknowledge the truth, and then seek reconciliation with those who have been harmed,” said Mayor Don Scott.

“This week, and going forward, I will continue to do my best to seek truth and reconciliation by truly listening to Indigenous people, including those who are my friends and neighbours.”

The RMWB, along with the McMurray Métis and Fort McKay Métis Nation, are asking the public to educate themselves on the issue to truly understand the horrors many Indigenous children faced.

There is also a National Residential School Crisis Line – 1-866-925-4419 – where victims can get help.

More information can be found on the National Centre of Truth and Reconciliation’s website.

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