Board statement: Williams Lake First Nation announces findings of 93 possible graves
Dear students, parents, caregivers and staff,
Yesterday we watched with heavy hearts as the Williams Lake First Nation shared the findings from their investigation of a portion of the former St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School property, located in BC’s Central Interior. Their investigation has revealed a possible 93 unmarked graves.
Each announcement adds to the growing total we are facing, as this important and heavy work to seek truth continues across this country. Each individual number represents a life, a family and a community hurt. And each time we learn of these discoveries, we know it also comes with renewed grief, trauma, and the call to all of us to listen, learn and support healing.
Connie Swan, the District Vice-Principal for Indigenous Education, has kindly shared the following resources for anyone who might need them:
- This video can help prepare parents, caregivers and educators to have conversations about residential schools with kids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebOJ_lMCVvk
- Aged-based resources can be found on the education page of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: https://nctr.ca/education/
- Through the Indian Residential School Survivor Society website, survivors can find access to supports they may need right now, and others can learn about ways they can support survivors: https://www.irsss.ca/home
On behalf of the Board of Education we share our heart-felt thoughts and support for the Indigenous staff, students, families and community partners who are impacted by this newest discovery. We recommit to supporting the vital work required as we continue the journey toward reconciliation.
With kind regards,
Gurveen Dhaliwal, Board Chair
PDF: Letter from the Board of Education, following news from Williams Lake First Nation