The Manufactured Housing Assn of BC expresses the grief and sorrow Indigenous Peoples felt when the remains of the 215 children were located buried in unmarked graves on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in the territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. This is in accordance with the stories shared by many survivors during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada inquiry and other testimonies. It is also further evidence of the high level of strategic planning that went into the establishment, operation and concealment of the residential school systems’ agenda, purposes and goals of assimilation and/or annihilation of the First Peoples cultures.
As an Association, our members remain committed to reconciliation for future generations even though we are heart-broken at this horrifying situation, which is further proof of the terrible price Indigenous people in B.C. and Canada paid as a result of this system which tried to break First Nations culture and for which the Government of Canada apologized and asked for forgiveness for in 2008.
The MHABC joins with all Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in asking British Columbians and all Canadians to remember these lost children and the other thousands of Residential Schools survivors who are still paying the price of this misguided policy. The MHABC asks that all our citizens urge all levels of government to provide the resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation of the grounds of all former residential schools across our Nation to identify further unmarked graves and give First Nations the financial and other resources required to repatriate the remains of these lost children to their communities.
Our shared history has seen many instances of suffering and oppression. It has also seen cooperation, working together for mutual benefit and a recognition that we all need each other, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. We hope that this shocking situation can be a springboard to greater understanding so history does not repeat itself and lay bare past wrongs so we can work together to create a prosperous future for everyone.