Statement on the Discovery of a Mass Gravesite of 215 Children Buried at a Former Residential School

June 2, 2021

The Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) is deeply saddened by the recent discovery made by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation of a mass gravesite of 215 children buried on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia. It is a painful reminder of the widespread harms perpetuated by Canada’s ongoing colonial practices towards the Indigenous peoples of this land.

 As upsetting as this news is, unfortunately it is not surprising in light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report that stated the official count of children who have died in the residential school system has been underreported. Undoubtedly, the gravesite in Kamloops will likely be one among multiple other yet to be uncovered sites throughout Canada, including here in Alberta.

 ESPC remains committed to continuing our contributions in meaningful reconciliation work with Indigenous communities in Edmonton and beyond.

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