Content warning: the section below references colonialism, Canada's residential school system, violence against children, racism and cultural genocide.
ONPHA stands in solidarity with Indigenous communities demanding action and accountability for the ongoing legacy of the residential school system. As settlers we remain called to action on reconciliation in our lives, organizations, and communities. Education, advocacy, and action are critical to justice.
We strongly encourage you to read the statement from the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation on their investigation and findings uncovering the unreported deaths of 215 Indigenous children at the government and church-run Kamloops Indian Residential School. This confirms the vast loss of Indigenous children through the residential school system that Indigenous communities have long known and demanded action on to no avail.
It is incumbent on settlers to learn about the ongoing legacy and present day impacts of residential schools and colonialism. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's reports and 94 Calls to Action are a good place to start, with the Yellowhead Institution's Calls to Action Accountability tracking Canada's limited progress on the implementation of the TRC's recommendations.
You can find the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation's National Student Memorial Register, which honours the children who did not return from residential school, here. The final report is available on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls along with the 231 Calls for Justice.
Survivors and those affected by residential schools can call the Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll-free line at 1-800-721-0066, and access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the Indian Residential School 24/7 National Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419. Please share this information within your organization so people know how to access support if they need it.
You can find more information about the findings, along with resources and ways to take action on social media.