As we begin Indigenous History Month this June, we honour and remember the 215 missing children of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc [*pronounced Tay-KUM-loops te shuh-WHEP-muhk] First Nation at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, the families left behind, and all survivors of residential schools.
It critical for everyone in Canada to learn about the dark history and ongoing impacts of residential schools. The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art is committed to our responsibility to communicate this history and its intergenerational influence to support our communities, and to celebrate the incredible resilience of Indigenous people.
Want to help? Here's what you can do:
• Learn about the impacts of the Indian Residential School system
• Read the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls to Action PDF
• Contact your MPs and local officials
• Actively listen to people of First Nations, Inuit and Métis backgrounds
• Stand up to stereotypes, prejudice and systemic racism
• Have conversations with your family and friends, including children
• Be respectful towards trauma survivors and Elders
• Support Indigenous-led community organizations
• Be patient, empathetic and receptive (it is distressing for everyone)
• Raise awareness in your community and online (wear orange)
Courtesy of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS)
· 24-hour National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
· Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) crisis line for grief, crisis, and trauma counselling: 1-800-721-0066 or visit irsss.ca
· KUU-US Crisis Line Society: 1-800-588-8717 or online at kuu-uscrisisline.com
Artwork: "We Stand Together in Remembrance of Our Children–215" by Lou-ann Neel © Used with permission of the artist.