June 1 marks the beginning of National Indigenous History Month! As we continue to mourn the 215 Indigenous children whose lives were taken at the former Kamloops Residential School, we recognize the heartbreaking history of residential schools and the devastating impact this trauma has caused all Indigenous peoples. We send love, strength and healing thoughts for all those affected.
During this difficult time we remind everyone to please be aware that this can be triggering for students, families and communities. This is an emotionally difficult time. We have to be especially considerate because of our current state and the impact of the pandemic on mental health. The impact of tragic events such as this is compounded and complex.
There are many supports available. We encourage people to reach out to Child and Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Community Mental Health services such as North of Superior Counselling Programs, Dilico Mental Health and Mental Health and Addictions Nurses. Also, ensure that you reach out to your culture and community. Seek out the healing power of the land and outdoors, reach out to your community services and Elders and be together in the ways in which we can with the restrictions we have.
Together we stand in solidarity and with continued commitment to engagement in Truth and Reconciliation.
On Monday, May 31, 2021 SGDSB encourages everyone to wear an orange shirt or garment in memory of the 215 children whose lives were taken at the former Kamloops Residential School. We are deeply saddened and our our thoughts are with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, as well as with all Indigenous communities across Canada. We recognize the heartbreaking tragedy of residential schools and the devastating impact that this trauma has and continues to inflict on so many. As we grieve with those affected, we will continue to work towards a better future through truth and reconciliation. Support for former residential school students and those affected are available through the national Indian Residential School Crisis Line. To access emotional and crisis referral services, call the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.
Flags on all SGDSB schools and buildings will be flown at half-mast from Monday, May 31, 2021 to Friday, June 4, 2021, in memory of the 215 children whose remains were discovered on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Tk’emlups to Secwepemc First Nation Territory. Our thoughts are with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, as well as with all Indigenous communities across Canada.