Today we took time to reflect and pause in honour of the lives of the 215 Indigenous children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. We affirm our commitment to working to ensure that every child matters in every generation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children. This is not just history. There are more Indigenous children in state care today than at the height of the residential school system. There are 53 long-term drinking water advisories in in Canada. The Federal Government continues to challenge the survivors of St Anne’s Residential School in court on reopening compensation cases. In early childhood education, and as educators, we have a responsibility to bring these present truths to light, to ensure that the histories of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people are not only taught as curriculum content, but that their ways of being and knowing are valued and honoured. We must ensure our own work does not reproduce old narratives that cause harm, and that our work and pedagogy disrupt and do better.
Reconciliation in statements, in sentiment, is not enough. There must be action that disrupts ongoing colonial practices that continue to cause harm, silence, and disrupt generations of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. We must follow the lead of the Indigenous community and work collectively to do better in memory of the children, families and communities.
One child is one too many.
For those needing support: https://www.fnha.ca/about/news-and-events/news/indian-residential-school-support-program
We suggest donating to support the work of the following organizations or an organization of your choice:
Indian Residential School Survivors Society in BC: https://www.irsss.ca/donate
The Orange Shirt Society: https://www.orangeshirtday.org/donations.html
First Nations Child and Family Caring Society: https://fncaringsociety.com/donate