Jun. 3, 2021
This past weekend, it was announced by the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nation that 215 children’s bodies had been found in a former residential school site in British Columbia. This is a stark reminder of the cruelty of the residential school system and the damage done by this country to First Nations communities and people.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) made six recommendations regarding Missing Children and Burial Information. These are a small part of the work to be done in the reconciliation process and as of now, there has been only minimal progress on these calls to action. The Government Services Union Equity Committee supports the full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.
Many provinces across the country and many Federal buildings lowered their flags to half mast, but it is not enough. I think of having my own children taken from me and not knowing where they rested or what their final days and hours were like. Following TRC Call to Action #74 – the federal government MUST update the records and get these children to their home communities where families can honor them. Please ask your elected officials to do right by these children and their families.
This is a reminder that the path to reconciliation has been mapped out by many different reports and they sit collecting dust on shelves. It is not enough to write about this, we must insist that the government answers the calls to action.
My father was in residential schools, his life and his life with my mother were impacted by his experiences. Many members of my family have gone to residential or Indian Day school; this is not something that happened in the distant past, this is relevant now. There is work that could be done today to help all the families that lost a child.
Write your MP and tell them that the government MUST get these children home.
Chair of the Equity Committee
Government Services Union - PSAC