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City University in Canada Statement on the Missing Children of the Kamloops Indian Residential School

It is with the deepest sense of sadness that City University in Canada pays our respects and extends our condolences to the families, loved ones and communities of the 215 children recently discovered at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

We must reflect on the fact that the victims were all innocent little children forcibly taken from their parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and community. Each and every one of these children was loved, cherished and priceless beyond value.   These children never came home and their disappearance left a void of despair and anguish for their loved ones left waiting.   

This recent discovery is a grim reminder to us all that the legacy of the residential school system and Canada’s shameful genocidal treatment of Indigenous peoples is not the tragedy of a past era but represents a crime that reverberates across the communities of all Indigenous people today. Old wounds, many that have yet to heal, have been reopened for so many.

Words alone will do little to ease the intense pain and suffering in the hearts of those most affected by the tragic deaths of so many young lives taken.  City University in Canada recognizes that as an institution of privilege we have a responsibility to do more by renewing our commitment towards addressing the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  City University in Canada will continue to ensure that we do not shy away from acknowledging the crimes perpetrated against Indigenous peoples and will strive to create an educational community that is safe, inclusive and open.  

We encourage you to show your support and solidarity by wearing your orange shirt.  The orange shirt signifies the emotional, mental and physical trauma that Indigenous peoples endured during the residential school era. The purpose of wearing orange is to show a unified step towards reconciliation and building stronger relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Victoria Orange Shirt DayOrange Shirt Day | Alberta.ca & WELCOME (orangeshirtday.org).

If you need support or assistance, the following resources are available:

Free Confidential Short-Term Counselling for CityU Students. If you would like to access counselling through the Community Clinic, contact us at accesscounselling@cityu.edu.

The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866 925-4419.

Within BC, the KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous-specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s toll-free and can be reached at 1-800-588-8717 or online at kuu-uscrisisline.com.

In Alberta, please contact the First Nations and Innuit Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310. First Nations and Inuit Hope For Wellness Help Line – InformAlberta.ca.

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