The AMS joins everyone in mourning
Last week, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc announced the results of preliminary surveys using ground-penetrating radar on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School: 215 children were discovered to be buried there. The AMS would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and those impacted. This tragic news is yet another one that puts on display, the intergenerational and systemic impacts resulting from the genocide of Indigenous people through the residential school system in Canada.
The AMS stands in solidarity with the survivors of residential schools and those who mourn their loved ones. We acknowledge that UBC and AMS are situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Peoples.
We also acknowledge that the education systems in place have served as agents to legitimizing assimilation and genocide. However, that is not enough. In order to move forward in the healing process, we must address the ongoing harms that have occurred and continue to occur to date. We are committed to standing with and supporting Indigenous students, not only in their academic endeavors at this university, but in amplifying their voices. We will continue our advocacy to fight for crucial support for Indigenous students.
We must also educate ourselves on the history of residential schools in Canada and it’s impact on the Indigenous community. We encourage everyone to join us and educate themselves as well. Please learn more through the following:
- Media Report on the discovery: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/tk-eml%C3%BAps-te-secw%C3%A9pemc-215-children-former-kamloops-indian-residential-school-1.6043778
- The Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc press release: https://tkemlups.ca/wp-content/uploads/05-May-27-2021-TteS-MEDIA-RELEASE.pdf
- UBC Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre Statement: https://irshdc.ubc.ca/2021/05/28/statement-on-the-kamloops-indian-residential-school-burials/
- Background on Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: http://www.trc.ca/about-us.html
- Background from the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre: https://irshdc.ubc.ca/learn/indian-residential-schools/.
- Project of Heart. Illuminating the hidden history of Indian Residential Schools in BC: https://bctf.ca/HiddenHistory/eBook.pdf
- “Kamloops History: The dark and difficult legacy of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.” Kamloops This Week. October 2020. https://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/community/kamloops-history-the-dark-and-difficult-legacy-of-the-kamloops-indian-residential-school-1.24215330
This is a time of sadness, grief, and anger for many, if you know of any one in need of support in particular, or need support yourself, please refer to the resources listed below.
- UBC Indigenous Portal
Highly trained counsellors are available at the First Nations Longhouse and at the UBC Counselling Services Centre in Brock Hall. They are available to meet with you to talk about your concerns or to make referrals to off-campus resources.
- UBC Counselling Services
Students can call Counselling Services at 604 822 3811 to schedule an appointment by phone, or visit their website for more resources.
- National Indian Residential School Crisis Line
Support for former Residential School students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1 866 925-4419.
- KUU-US Crisis Line Society
First Nations and Indigenous specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia. The KUU-US Crisis Line can be reached toll-free at 1 800 588-8717. Alternatively, call direct into the Youth Line at 250 723-2040 or the Adult Line at 250 723-4050.