June 08, 2021
Like all MSA members, we were horrified and profoundly saddened by the discovery of the remains of 215 children in an unmarked grave at a residential school in Kamloops, BC. We mourn those whose lives were lost and offer our deepest sympathies to those impacted by this discovery and the residential school system. To our Indigenous MSA members, family and colleagues, our thoughts and support are particularly with you during this traumatic time.
As President Trimbee pointed out in her recent communication, Alberta had the highest number of residential schools, the legacy of which is still living history within our community. We must reckon with Canada’s past and reflect on how we can personally and as a union take the necessary steps towards reconciliation. We encourage MSA members to read about Indigenous history, the history and legacy of residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We also encourage you to participate in MacEwan’s upcoming events to recognize and honour these children. If you would like to sign a petition calling for a National Day of Mourning for the Lost Children of Residential School, you can do so here. http://chng.it/dhHpCxgdH8.
If you or a family member need support at this time or in the future, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Support is available through:
National support services are also available to survivors and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program. A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former residential school students. The 24-hour line can be reached at 1-866-925-4419.
The month of June is National Indigenous History Month, a time to recognize the history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples in Canada. You can read more about Indigenous culture, history and history-makers here: https://www.rcaanccirnac.gc.ca/eng/1466616436543/1534874922512) and National Indigenous People’s Day is June 21st. This year’s Edmonton festival celebrating National Indigenous People is online; visit https://www.eipfestival.ca/ for details. Let us learn more about the contributions they have made and continue to make to our community and country.