DJC Statement on Kamloops Indian Residential School

We join all of Canada in mourning the devastating discovery of the remains of 215 children buried in unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Jewish tradition teaches that every life that is lost is an entire world lost. Our prayers and broken hearts reach to recognize each life and each lost world. We stand in solidarity with our Indigenous siblings and pray for healing at this time of profound grief. As a Jewish community, we will continue to pray, learn, and work in commitment to truth and reconciliation, justice and peace.

Here are some helpful educational resources:

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) reports:

Indian Residential School Survivors Society

Legacy of Hope Foundation

Free resource on the Indian Residential School System from Anishinabek Nation

Educational resources

10 books about residential schools to read with your kids

Other ways you can help

There are no words to express the deep mourning that we feel as First Nations people, and as survivors, when we hear an announcement like this. These were children – all belonging to a family and community, and a Nation – who were forcibly stolen from their homes under the authority of the Canadian government, and never returned. We call upon Canada, and all of those who call yourselves Canadians, to witness and recognize the truth of our collective history. This is the reality of the genocide that was, and is, inflicted upon us as Indigenous peoples by the colonial state. Today we honour the lives of those children, and hold prayers that they, and their families, may finally be at peace.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President
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