CSA Statement on the Unmarked Graves at Kamloops Residential Schools and the Continuous Findings

Content Warning: Mentions of violence, death, genocide, and colonialism.

Earlier this month, the heartbreaking news of the hidden deaths and mass graves of 215 Indigenous children at the Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia was brought to the attention of non-Indigenous people across the country. This is tragic news to many of us on this land, however, for our Indigenous communities - this has been confirmation of what has been known all along.

This and the additional discoveries of mass graves that have followed reflects Canada’s long and on-going history of colonial violence and cultural genocide. The creation and imposition of residential schools was a part of Canada’s colonial efforts, which was heavily funded by the government of Canada. It was not until 1997 that residential schools were officially shut down by the Canadian government and we recognize the intergenerational trauma and insurmountable pain that continues to inflict Indigenous communities & individuals today.

The CSA extends our condolences to the Indigenous community and all those affected & wishes to express its solidarity with the families who lost their children at residential schools across the country. For the 215 children that didn’t make it home from Kamloops Residential School; for the 751 children that didn't make it home from Marieval Indian Residential School; for the thousands more across Turtle Island that are yet to be found; for those that made it home and still carry their pain with them - we honour you, today and every day.

The CSA would like to extend our support to the Indigenous communities of the University of Guelph, who are impacted by the aftermath of this event and ongoing settler-colonialism. We will continue to advocate as allies in support of their efforts. For support and resources, please see below:

Support and Resources

Posted on Thursday, June 24th, 2021