This weekend's events have once again reminded us of the fragility of life, and the many atrocities of the Residential School system. With the discovery of 215 children's remains at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, many feelings are surfaced for our students, families and staff.
This week, flags will be flown at half mast in recognition of the lost lives of residential schools and staff and students are encouraged to wear orange.
Why is this issue important to all Canadians? Why should it matter to those who didn't attend residential school?
It matters because it continues to affect First Nations, Inuit and Metis families - people from vibrant cultures who are vital contributors to Canadian society.
It matters because it happened here, in a country we call our own - a land considered to be a world leader in democracy and human rights.
It matters because we share this land. We may not be responsible for wat happened in the past, but we all benefit from what First Nations, Inuit and Metis have had to relinquish. We are responsible for our actions today.
(from 100 Years of Residential Schools in Canada)
Families can explore more about residential schools through 100 Years of Loss: The Residential School System in Canada
A virtual exhibition can be viewed at www.wherearethechildren.ca
We continue to support the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action as part of the CBE's system Indigenous Education Holistic Lifelong Learning Framework.
The CBE acknowledges the words of Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: “Education is how we will heal, teaching our children that we are all equal is how we will stop racism and bring about reconciliation."
Survivors of the Indian Residential School system can get support through the 24/7 crisis line (1-866-925-4419), and additional support is available through the Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868). Support is available to CBE employees through Homewood Health (1-800-663-1142).
Tanis Greenlaw, Principal