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Residential School Statement

It has been one year since we learned from Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation of the confirmation of 215 unmarked burials at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. Today, we remember and honour those children whose lives where tragically lost and all those who continue to suffer from this loss and the legacy of trauma left by the Residential School system.

For many of us, this was the first time learning that so many children lost their lives because of the operation of Residential Schools, whether it be through disease, violence, neglect, accidents or perished as they tried to escape. These facts were known to First Nation, Métis and Inuit families for generations. Since this disturbing discovery, many Indigenous communities in Ontario and across Canada are continuing the difficult work of searching, identifying and investigating potential burial sites on and around former Residential Schools sites.

Locating unmarked graves at former residential school sites is a reminder of the abuse that residential school policies inflicted on Indigenous children, their families and their communities.

The Halton Children’s Aid Society is committed to acknowledging the historical and ongoing harm Indigenous Peoples endure in Canada. We accept the responsibility as a child welfare organization to correct the over-representation of Indigenous children and youth in our care and the disparities that Indigenous people experience when they engage with our Society. We are committed to deepening our collective understanding of this history by forging meaningful partnerships with Indigenous service providers and communities, learning from their experiences and teachings and ensuring we remain accountable to Indigenous communities as we decolonize our policies and practices. We encourage everyone to reflect on the lives lost and families forever changed.