Statement – Kamloops residential school

June 1, 2021  |   Found in News

The University of Calgary Students’ Union is heartbroken at the discovery of the bodies of 215 Indigenous children at a former residential school in Kamloops. This loss is devastating and unimaginable. The SU stands with residential school survivors as we collectively grieve this tremendous loss. Canada was and remains party to a legacy of colonialism that can only be healed through the actions of truth and reconciliation. The horrific abuse that Indigenous children suffered after being taken from their families and their language and culture forbidden must not be forgotten as we all move forward in the spirit of reconciliation.

 

The SU calls upon the University of Calgary and all orders of government to fully implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. For our part, the SU Quality money program has funded programs on campus that support Indigenous students and foster positive relationships with Indigenous communities. There is much more work to do and we all must re-double our efforts in the name of reconciliation.

 

While symbolic, we must also remove from places of reverence those who created and supported the residential school system. That’s why the decision made by the Calgary Board of Education to rename Langevin School is positive, but it is well overdue. The SU thanks the students of the now newly named Riverside School for not giving up in their four year battle to re-name the school. The SU calls on the Calgary Catholic School Division to re-name Bishop Grandin School and to do so immediately. Only then can we move forward together and begin to heal the wounds of the past.