As Indigenous communities and
Canadians coast-to-coast mourn the discovery of 215 dead children at the Kamloops
Indian Residential School, the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) is calling for
decisive action from the federal government.
“We’ve clearly heard from Indigenous
communities that they’ve known all along that many more children died than had
been reported, and the federal government must take responsibility for
continuing to uncover the truth. There can be no reconciliation without truth,”
said Teri Mooring, BCTF President. “The responsibility of searching for these
missing children should never have fallen upon the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc
people. Canada can and must do better.”
Specifically, the BCTF is
calling for the Government of Canada to:
a national period of mourning following last week’s discovery at Kamloops
Indian Residential School.
to working with all Indigenous communities throughout Canada wishing to conduct
ground radar surveys of former Indian Residential Schools within their
adequate funding and resources to make possible the work of identifying
additional unmarked grave sites and conducting the cultural protocols
appropriate within each respective community.
a detailed report to Canadians on the status of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission’s Calls to Action numbers 71–76 (“Missing Children and Burial
“Words are empty without
action. Another statement from a politician isn’t what these communities need
right now,” said Teri Mooring, BCTF President. “Indigenous communities are
demanding action, and we are deeply committed to supporting and amplifying
The BCTF urges educators and
others in the Canadian labour movement to join us in applying pressure for
decisive action in these areas.
The Truth and Reconciliation
Commission’s Calls to Action are available at: http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf