(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, BC) The First Nations Technology Council community stands in grief and solidarity with the profound number of people and communities affected by this horrific tragedy. We mourn the loss of the 215 innocent lives taken at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Our thoughts are with those whose children and family members never came home. We stand with the survivors, including intergenerational and future generation survivors, as we bear witness to the legacy and pain of the Residential School system in what we currently call “Canada.” This tragedy requires us to go deeper, work harder, and hold truth and reconciliation in our hands more intentionally. We are calling on everyone and all levels of government to commit to meaningful reconciliation and to work harder.
We send our love and appreciation to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation for doing the incredibly difficult work that led to this discovery that has allowed these children to be honoured and for our Nations to grieve their loss.
The Technology Council recognizes that this tragic news could cause and trigger trauma for Indian Residential School Survivors and their families. If you are experiencing emotional distress, we encourage you to contact the Indian Residential School Society (IRSS) 24-hour support line at 1-800-721-0066 or visit their website at www.irss.ca
A list of additional resources can be found below.
For more information:
Denise Williams, CEO
First Nations Technology Council
E: [email protected]
KUU-US Crisis Line Society
First Nations and Aboriginal specific 24/7 crisis line based in Port Alberni and serving the entire province.
Youth Line: 250.723.2040
Adult Line: 250.723.4050
Native Youth Crisis Hotline
Answered by staff 24/7. Available throughout Canada and US. Toll-free: 1.877.209.1266
In addition, Indigenous people living in BC can apply for the mental health counselling benefit through the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) with an approved psychologist, clinical counsellor, or social worker.
The benefit will run as long as you or your provider determine you need it. Visit: https://www.fnha.ca/benefits/mental-health for more information. Non-Status Indigenous people living in BC may still qualify.