The Kamloops Indian Residential School

Published on June 3, 2021

Last week, the bodies of 215 children were discovered in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.  This news was horrific but not a revelation to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, and other First Nations whose children disappeared into the residential school system; they have always known that the bodies of their loved ones were buried somewhere.  

On behalf of the Canadian Historical Association, I extend my deepest condolences to all those victims of the genocidal residential school system and of colonial violence in all its forms.  As professional historians, our community has a particular obligation to listen to survivors and comb the archives to unearth and tell the truth about Residential Schools. The enormity of the loss has prompted an outpouring of grief in Canada and around the world; we join in the sadness at such tragic loss and in the anger at the history of racism that created Residential Schools.  I renew the commitment of the Canadian Historical Association to meet the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and to continue our work against systemic racism.

Penny Bryden
President
Canadian Historical Association

 

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