It is with profound sadness that the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) acknowledges the horrific discovery of the mass grave of 215 children at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
On behalf of the SLRD Board and Staff, I would like to express our sincere condolences to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation and to all those impacted by this discovery, including our neighbours from the St'át'imc, Lil'wat and Skwxwú7mesh Nations.
Canada’s residential school system saw more than 150,000 Indigenous children taken from their families between 1870-1996. Many of these children endured unthinkable abuse and many would never return home. The implications of this have spanned generations.
The discovery at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School is an example of the many atrocities inflicted upon Indigenous children and their families in what can best be described as cultural genocide.
The flag at the SLRD administration building in Pemberton, BC, will be lowered to half mast until June 9, to honour those lives lost, and to acknowledge that we must not forget these atrocities.
The SLRD recognizes the shameful history of the residential school system, and we extend our support to all who were – and are – affected. It is our responsibility to never forget this dark history and to support reconciliation efforts moving forward.
Chair, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District