May 31, 2021 - WFN Chief and Council would like to extend our deepest grief and condolences to the 215 infants and children confirmed buried, unmarked and in secret, at the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc / Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS). To our Members, community members, staff members, and all those whose pain has been triggered by this horrendous act, please know that we stand with you.

WFN Council representatives attended a roundtable discussion Friday afternoon that included Chiefs and Council members from over 17 First Nation communities. From what was shared, there are many more communities that have Members who attended KIRS and, in acknowledgement, Council stands in support of all communities affected by this tragic uncovering of truths which we as Indigenous people have known and felt for generations – that among many other atrocities, children were stolen from our families, many of these children never returned, and many buried in secret, without dignity, without ceremony, and without family. We are still profoundly affected by these atrocities and know that accountability must and will be sought.

We can take solace in knowing these truths have been confirmed, and that our children today will not have to defend these truths and intergenerational trauma continuing to affect our communities. Most importantly, we can take solace knowing that these children can now be honoured through ceremonies and language that these schools attempted to eradicate. We give thanks to those working tirelessly to assist with the work moving forward.

There are a number of support services being offered at this time to assist with the grieving process. This includes:

National Indian Residential School Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419)

First Nation Health Authority Mental Health and Wellness Support List

LifeWorks Trauma Support

To learn more about what you can do to engage in reconciliation, please reference the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's 94 Calls to Action

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