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Statement from the Board Chair: Kamloops Indian Residential School burial site

Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools’ (GSACRD) Board of Trustees is heartbroken, remorseful, and saddened to hear of the recent, and deeply upsetting, news that the bodies of 215 children were discovered on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, BC.

The impact of this tragedy is being powerfully felt across our faith-and-learning community, as well as across Canada and the world. We cannot imagine the pain and trauma that affected families, residential school survivors, and those with close ties to residential schools, are experiencing.

On May 31, 2021, all flags in our Division were lowered as a demonstration of our shared grief to acknowledge the loss of these precious young lives, and to pay our respects to them, their families, and their communities. Flags will remain at half-mast for 215 hours (until June 9, 2021) – one hour to commemorate each child.

The Board of Trustees is aware of the community’s concerns regarding the names of some of our schools, and we take the issues that have been raised seriously. On May 31, 2021, our Board passed a motion to establish an ad hoc committee that will review the names of all of our Division’s schools, as per our policies and processes relating to the naming of schools.

In keeping with our Division’s commitment to meaningful reconciliation, as well as our strong relationship with local Indigenous communities, we send our condolences to the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nations for this tragic loss. May we continuously, proactively, and intentionally work together towards healing.

We know that this news may trigger trauma, grief, anger, and sadness for many in our communities. If you need support, services are available through the National Indian Residential School Crisis Hotline
(1-866.925.4419).

#EveryChildMatters

 

Noreen Radford, Chair
Board of Trustees
Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools

June 3, 2021

 

> > > Download: Statement from the Board Chair (PDF)

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