Premier John Horgan and Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, have issued the following statement on the Kamloops Indian Residential School Le Estcwéý (The Missing) findings and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc next steps:
“Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc have today completed a difficult and necessary step to bring to light the dark truth about the atrocities that happened over decades at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
“Each of these children was forever taken from a family and community that loved them. We acknowledge the pain and share the grief of survivors, their families, their communities and all Indigenous peoples.
“For future generations, we have a responsibility to continue facing the harmful impacts of residential schools and how the intergenerational traumas inflicted upon Indigenous peoples are felt to this day.
“We commend the leadership and courage demonstrated by Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir, Council members and the community as they have worked with their team of legal and technical experts on the Le Estcwéý (The Missing) findings and the next steps. They are providing a path for the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc people and other First Nations who are grappling with lasting spiritual, emotional, mental and physical trauma – the ongoing legacy of the residential school system.
“We are taking our guidance from First Nations leadership on this important work. Provincial government leadership will meet with Kúkpi7 Casimir and others from the community to discuss the findings when the Nation feels the time is right. We will continue to work with the Nation to determine the best ways for the Province to support the path ahead, alongside federal and Indigenous partners.
“We are committed to supporting the vital work by First Nations at all residential school sites in B.C. We have allocated $12 million in new funding for the research at former residential school sites and for the mental health and cultural supports for communities that are critical for healing. These resources will be available to those communities carrying out this work, including Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.
“We will continue to ensure communities and survivors are at the centre of this work and will follow their lead on the appropriate way forward.”