July 9, 2021

(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Swx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, BC) – Leaders of the First Nations Summit (FNS) are deeply concerned by recent vandalism and the burning down of several churches in BC.

It is undeniable that the Indian Residential School (IRS) system was created to strip our people of every element of our cultures and assimilate us into Canadian society. Much anger has re-surfaced with the burial confirmations and because of the lack of willingness by churches to admit to this responsibility and to share and grant complete access the historical records in their possession.

Words cannot express our deep sorrow for the many lost children whose remains have now been found at several former Indian Residential School sites. It is unconscionable to think of how many children’s lives were taken and cast aside in hidden or unmarked graves. The confirmations of these unmarked grave sites are a representation of the genocide our people were subject to through the government and church IRS system.