Blog > SACHA Statement In Solidarity with Grieving Indigenous Communities

SACHA Statement In Solidarity with Grieving Indigenous Communities

June 1, 2021

An unmarked mass grave of Indige­nous chil­dren stolen from their fam­i­lies was found at Kam­loops Indi­an Res­i­den­tial School.

These chil­dren were mur­dered by the gov­ern­ment and the state church. This is col­o­niza­tion. The mur­der of babies and chil­dren who today would have been elders in their com­mu­ni­ties. Who today could have been shar­ing knowl­edge, mem­o­ries, laugh­ter, lan­guage, and his­to­ry. Who were not lost but stolen. Who did not die but were murdered.

This is not shock­ing, Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties have been liv­ing in this trau­ma for gen­er­a­tions and have been speak­ing the truth about the ongo­ing geno­cide and abuse. There are more stolen chil­dren, youth, adults, and elders.

These graves were only dis­cov­ered because of the work of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation so they may begin the process of hon­our­ing the lost loved ones” (quote from State­ment from the Office of the Chief, Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir https://​tkemlups​.ca/​w​p​-​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​u​p​l​o​a​d​s​/​05​-​M​ay-31 – 2021-TteS-MEDIA-RELEASE.pdf). There are Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties across Tur­tle Island that have been call­ing for this work to be done at local res­i­den­tial schools. The real­i­ty that has long been known by these com­mu­ni­ties is that there are many more than the 215 and yet our gov­ern­ment has not com­mit­ted the nec­es­sary fund­ing to bring the bod­ies of Indige­nous chil­dren home to their rel­a­tives and com­mu­ni­ties. We must lis­ten to and sup­port the needs of each indi­vid­ual com­mu­ni­ty who know best how they must grieve and heal as a community.

To the many Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties suf­fer­ing through this trau­ma you are loved and so impor­tant. Your trau­ma is real and while those of us who are set­tlers will nev­er know or feel the true depth of your trau­ma we send you so much love and sol­i­dar­i­ty. We will show up with you to demand jus­tice, decol­o­niza­tion, and Indige­nous sovereignty.

A nation­al res­i­den­tial school cri­sis line is avail­able to pro­vide 247 sup­port to res­i­den­tial school sur­vivors and oth­ers who are affect­ed: 18669254419

To the set­tlers who are not sure where they to begin work­ing in sol­i­dar­i­ty with Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties as they grieve we leave you with these thoughts. Know that as a set­tler while you may be feel­ing heavy-heart­ed by this news it will nev­er com­pare to the grief, rage, and hurt felt by Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties. Do not take up space, give space to Indige­nous folks for their feel­ings and grief. While you may be feel­ing out­rage and sor­row now do not let that go but allow it to guide your actions. Lis­ten, learn, and act. Do not expect Indige­nous folks now or ever to edu­cate you on their trau­ma, abuse, and oppres­sion. Read the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion final report (http://​www​.trc​.ca/​a​s​s​e​t​s​/​p​d​f​/​H​o​n​o​u​r​i​n​g​_​t​h​e​_​T​r​u​t​h​_​R​e​c​o​n​c​i​l​i​n​g​_​f​o​r​_​t​h​e​_​F​u​t​u​r​e​_​J​u​l​y​_​23​_​2015.pdf) and hold the gov­ern­ment account­able for its ongo­ing abuse of Indige­nous peo­ples. Lis­ten to Indige­nous voic­es, in your life, on social media, and through Indige­nous orga­ni­za­tions (https://​www​.irsss​.ca, http://​www​.native​wom​en​scen​tre​.com, http://​www​.hric​.ca,, https://​www​.nwac​.ca). Show up in the ways they ask you to, ampli­fy their calls for action. Give funds, goods, sig­na­tures, and your time where it is need­ed. Do not let this vio­lence and geno­cide be hid­den and for­got­ten about by the gov­ern­ment and set­tlers because for Indige­nous folks this is not pos­si­ble, it is a dai­ly real­i­ty and we all need to show up for Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties every day.

The memo­r­i­al at The Eagles Among Us” at Bat­tle­field Park will remain up until Wednes­day evening. Folks can still go to vis­it, mourn, and leave shoes and tributes.

There is also a local vig­il being held this Fri­day at Bayfront Park. For details vis­it https://​fb​.me/​e​/​F​6​E​1IleT