June 18, 2021
KIAC mourns the loss of indigenous children, and stands with survivors of the Indian Residential School System across Canada.
Following the devastating announcement by Tk’emlúps te and Secwépemc First Nations of the remains of 215 Indigenous children found at the former Kamloops Residential School last month, and as more mass graves are found, KIAC is recommitting to reconciliation by:
- Incorporating the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls into our strategic plan that directs all aspects of operations, programming, and presentations.
- Continuing the Reconciliation work surrounding the history of our building, the old Odd Fellows Hall, which historically excluded Indigenous people from becoming members.
- Supporting First Nations calls to search grounds of all Residentials Schools across Turtle Island and particularly at the Yukon residential schools:
- Shingle Point (St. John’s) Anglican Indian Residential School ran from 1929 – 1936, then moved to Aklavik, NT from 1936 – 1959
- Chooutla Residential School in Carcross was operated by the Anglican Church from 1911 – 1969
- Whitehorse Roman Catholic Indian Hostel / Courdert Hall opened 1960, merged with the Protestant Yukon Hall in 1970, closed 1971
- Yukon Hall (non-denominational) was federally operated from 1960 – 1985
- Whitehorse Baptist School operated 1947 – 1962, and
- St. Paul’s Hostel was operated by the Anglican Church in Dawson City from 1920 – 1943.
KIAC acknowledges that the effects of genocide and systemic racism towards Indigenous communities still exist to this day through the foster system, healthcare, Indian Act and beyond. KIAC acknowledges that reconciliation is ongoing, and recognizes that our work needs to continue.
KIAC will work to carry the weight of decolonization within the organisation, in a way that is not performative, to ensure sovereignty of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in People. We want to engage in a deep and sincere process with the stewards of this land.
We encourage our members – particularly non-Indigenous members – to continue to learn how residential schools impact First Nations and commit to actions for decolonization.
Legacy of Hope https://legacyofhope.ca/
The Indian Residential School Survivors Society (www.irsss.ca)
Kamloops aboriginal friendship society (KAFS) https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/newfriendshipcentre
KAFS is currently raising funds towards the construction of a new Friendship Centre
Yukon Residential Schools Bibliography
https://nctr.ca/memorial/national-student-memorial/ (can look up individual students and schools by name)
Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action
MMIW inquiry 231 calls for justice
Support is available for those who have been affected by residential school system and this latest report:
- The Indian Residential School Survivors Society can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-721-0066
- The Indian Residential School Crisis line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected by the residential school system. You can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24 hour national crisis line at 1-866-925-4419
Every child matters.