Posted on May 28, 2021 | Updated on June 1, 2021
Statement on the Indigenous children who died at the Kamloops Indian Residential School
I learned yesterday of the discovery of the buried bodies of 215 children at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. It is believed that many or most of these are undocumented deaths.
Events such as this evoke shock and horror, and serve as vivid reminders of the oppression of Indigenous people by the country that we call Canada. As a Faculty of Education, it is important that we recognize the ways in which education was, and can continue to be, used as a tool of assimilation, colonization, and oppression, both in residential schools and in society more generally.
We offer our condolences to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, who like so many other Indigenous nations and communities, were robbed of their lands, cultures, languages, and devastatingly, their children. We also offer our condolences to all Indigenous colleagues, staff, students, and community members in our Faculty of Education. We mourn with you.
Reading about this tragic discovery may be traumatizing for some members of our community. For those who may need it, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is 1-866-925-4419. Additionally, I encourage you to utilize the supports that the University offers.
Supports for students:
- Student Health Services and Counselling Services provided (virtually)
- UBC Counselling Services are offering appointments by phone (604 822 3811)
- Wellness Centre Online a space for engaging in topic relevant to student wellbeing
- UBC Student Services – Managing Your Mental Health
Supports for faculty and staff:
Read the Office of the President’s statement.