At CMHA BC, our hearts have been heavy over the weekend following the news from the Secwépemc Nation about the discovery of a mass grave with 215 children’s bodies. We are thinking of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community and other Indigenous communities and families—families who experience impacts of inter-generational trauma every day and who are reliving grief and pain. We express our deepest condolences to everyone impacted by the tragedy of the legacy of residential schools.
CMHA BC has been in touch with other CMHA branches and with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) to offer our support and services during this devastating time. For those impacted, taking care of our mental health during this time is critical and help is available:
- 24-hour KUU-US Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717
- Tsow-Tun-Le-Lum Society at 1-888-403-3123
- Indian Residential School Survivors Society at 1-800-721-0066 or 604-985-4464
Additional resources can be found on the FHNA website.
This is also a time for all of us to reflect on the impacts of colonization on Indigenous children, families, and communities and to better understand residential schools and the trauma they have caused. At 2:15pm today, all CMHA BC employees are asked to have a moment of silence to honour and reflect on the 215 children whose bodies were discovered in Kamloops. Another important step is to revisit the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Calls to Action.
Indigenous Peoples continue to experience trauma caused by colonial violence. At CMHA BC, we are committed to advocating for and reconciling with Indigenous communities across BC. There is much work to be done, and there is more to come, but for now, we offer our support to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community and other Indigenous communities and families.