The recent discoveries of 215 children at the Tk’emlups (Kamloops) Residential School and 751 children at the Marieval Residential School is a horrifying reminder of the suffering and harm that Indigenous communities, families and survivors have experienced and continue to experience. There will no doubt be more graves discovered in the coming months.
We stand in solidarity with the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc People, the Cowessess First Nation, the still missing victims and survivors of the Residential School system and Indigenous communities throughout the World.
It is a reminder that this is not simply a past chapter in our collective history but a legacy that has continued as the poison of colonialism and genocide continues to permeate through communities.
This must not be ignored or forgotten and we must honestly and critically confront past and present systems of oppression as we continue to work to decolonize the ways in which we operate. As an Association, every time we work and recreate on the land, we are a part of this shared history and only by understanding and listening can we begin to move towards truth and justice.
If you are looking for ways to help or learn more, please:
- Donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS): https://www.irsss.ca/
- Reach out to your local government councils, MPs, and MLAs to follow through with the calls to action laid forth by the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission (NTRC) and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
- Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pInB_Ccv0RY
- Explore the websites of the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and learn about their history and culture. It is their lands that we have the privilege of recreating and operating on and we are committed to maintaining a bridge of communication and working with them in whatever capacity they deem appropriate and necessary.
More reading relating to trails and land use: