Last spring, we were confronted by a tragic reminder of the impacts of residential schools following the confirmation of 215 unmarked graves at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
On Tuesday, preliminary findings of the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School investigation revealed 93 ground reflections requiring further analysis. It is believed those reflections represent buried human remains in un-marked graves.
On behalf of the CNC community, I wish to stand in solidarity and express our sorrow for those who did not return to their homes and families from the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School, as well as their families who grieve for their losses.
We extend our sorrows to members of the Williams Lake First Nation encountering renewed trauma from this experience. We also acknowledge and share our respects for all those who continue to experience the inter-generational impacts of residential schools.
We commit as a college to take every steps to learn from our past and present to create a future dedicated to reconciliation. I welcome all opportunities to work with members of the CNC community, the First Nations whose traditional territories we serve, and many valued partners to make that future possible.
I welcome and encourage members of the CNC community to learn more about fostering understanding and contributing to reconciliation. Many of our partners in education are choosing to wear orange again to show their solidarity. I welcome and encourage you to do so.
The reflections from last June of Executive Director of Aboriginal Education Marlene Erickson, Lakes District Regional Principal Corinne George, and Vanderhoof and Fort St. James Regional Principal Troy Morin offer a path for many of us grappling with meaningful actions we can take.
I also wish to advise of additional support services, which include:
- The Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS): 1-800-721-0066;
- A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line offering emotional and crisis referral services: 1-866-925-4419; and
- Within B.C., a First Nations and Indigenous-specific crisis line at 1-800-588-8717 or online.
CNC’s services include the following:
- The College’s crisis contact information page for the availability local services;
- Here2Talk offers confidential support for students 24 hours a day at 1-604-642-5212, toll free at 1-877-857-3397, or via Here2Talk on Google Play and the App store; and
- For CNC staff members, the employee and family assistance program via Homewood Health. Please call 1-800-663-1142, via TTY at 1-888-384-1152. All calls are completely confidential.