Statement in response to 215 children found in mass grave
The recent discovery of the mass grave of 215 children in Kamloops is a tragic example of present-day Canada, not a reminder of Canada’s history. We grieve with the residential school survivors and their relations on Turtle Island.
As settlers in Mi’kma’ki and Unama’ki, we have benefited from colonization and are committed to working with Indigenous leaders, the medical community, physicians and system partners to disrupt systemic racism and decolonize the health-care system. We stand in solidarity with Indigenous people. We call on everyone, from the federal government to individual Nova Scotians, to implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and we commit to do our part to do the same.
Residential schools were an act of genocide and they existed here in Nova Scotia. The Shubenacadie Indian Residential School existed from 1930-1967. Over 1,000 children are estimated to have been placed in the institution over the 37 years of its existence.
As settlers on this land, reconciliation is our responsibility. We are learning to be better allies and encourage you to do the same. We are all Treaty people.
The most immediate action you can take is to learn about the Indigenous experience in Canada and Indian Residential Schools and the lasting effects of this act of genocide. You can also read and understand the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Then take action to implement them.
Here are some resources that you may find helpful.
- Indian Horse (2017) (based on the book by Richard Wagamese)
- National Film Board documentaries on the Indian Residential Schools
- Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga
- The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew
- 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph
- Indian School Road by Chris Benjamin
Multimedia (film and music)
For sharing with younger audiences
- I Am Not a Number by Dr. Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer, Illustrated by Gillian Newland
- The Secret Path by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire (2016 book)
- These Are My Words: The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens (Ruby Slipperjack)