The CPA extends our deepest condolences to all Indigenous communities and to the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc in regard to the ongoing trauma and tragedy of the 215 First Nation children whose remains were found at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School last week.
As described in the Principles of Truth and Reconciliation,
For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide."
It is a heartbreaking reminder that too many families and survivors are affected by the residential school system in Canada, and of our responsibility to ensure the rights, freedoms, and protection of Indigenous children today. It is also a stark reminder of the work that is needed to address the ongoing acts of genocide against First Nations, Inuit and Métis women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
We stand in solidarity with all survivors of the residential school system, their families and all Indigenous communities in calling for a National Day of Mourning.
Taking Action: Engaging in Reconciliation
The CPA stands in solidarity with the survivors, intergenerational survivors, families and communities. We invite our community to act, to learn, and to reflect, through reacquainting themselves with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report and the Calls to Action.
Read the TRC Report and the Report on Canada’s Residential Schools: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials here: http://www.trc.ca/about-us/trc-findings.html
Read the report on Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/
We encourage and invite all physiotherapy professionals to wear an orange shirt or a piece of orange clothing, and to have conversations about why you are wearing orange, to show your recognition and acknowledgement of the past and of this present moment of profound sadness.
Read about the story of orange shirt day here: https://www.orangeshirtday.org/about-us.html
We invite you also to read the press release statement from the office of the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc Band Chief, Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir: https://tkemlups.ca/may-21-statement-from-the-office-of-the-chief-kukpi7-rosanne-casimir/
If you require support: The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate help to all Indigenous peoples across Canada
First Nations, Métis & Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line | Canada-Wide
If you’re experiencing emotional distress and want to talk, call the First Nations, Métis & Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1-855-242-3310. Available 24/7, Canada-wide.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015). “What we have learned”. Retrieved from http://www.trc.ca/about-us/trc-findings.html