July 15, 2021

(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) This morning, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc released the Kamloops Indian Residential School Le Estcwéý (The Missing) Report Findings and gathered residential school survivors to share their thoughts and experiences with Canada and the world. The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) sends our love and prayers to the survivors for their incredible courage and stands in solidarity with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. We call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and all of Canada to honour their commitments to reconciliation and to join Indigenous peoples on the continued journey for truth, justice, and healing. As we work toward these goals, immediate attention and actions are required.

Residential school records must be made immediately and fully accessible for future work to search, and subject to the wishes and choices of First Nations communities and families, to identify the children who were buried on the grounds of these institutions. Adequate and long-term funding must be made available for the planning, research and work that First Nations communities will undertake to search, memorialize and, if the choice is made, to bring their missing, lost and stolen children home.

While the work of finding Indigenous children’s graves at residential school sites is just beginning, it is important and necessary to realize, ensure and advance the pathway to truth and justice. However, the physical, emotional and spiritual impacts to survivors and their families who are experiencing inter-generational trauma are profound and significant. It is urgent that their health and well-being be supported immediately and for the long-term.