The discovery of 215 children’s remains in a mass grave at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. is “devastating news” that leaves all Indigenous people across Canada “heartbroken and grieving” with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation community, Premier Joe Savikataaq said in a statement released Sunday afternoon.
The Government of Nunavut will lower its flags to half-mast for nine days, marking 215 hours in honour of the 215 children who perished – “in remembrance of these beautiful souls, taken, disregarded and dishonoured by a system meant to break them,” said Savikataaq.
“The legacy of Canada’s residential schools is one of deep intergenerational trauma, rooted in attempted cultural genocide and assimilation,” the Premier said. “This isn’t simply a dark chapter in Canadian history, it continues to be a very painful reality for all First Nations, Inuit and Metis. In order to move forward, all Canadians must face these horrors, learn the truth, demand justice and work toward meaningful reconciliation on our terms.”
Savikataaq added that, on behalf of all Nunavummiut, he sends love and support to the families of the victims and to all survivors and those affected by residential schools.
“We stand together, unwavering in our cultures and languages, determined to heal,” he said.