Every Child Matters
Unifor mourns the loss of the 215 children found on Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc territory who perished in the custody of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
The discovery confirms what community survivors have said for decades—hundreds of children went to the school and never returned home. This is true of at least 6,000 Indigenous children who attended residential schools across the country.
The mass grave is a horrific reminder of the scale of the colonial violence that still haunts survivors and their families today.
Canada is far from done reconciling its murderous history of residential schools. Reconciliation is important for being accountable to both Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc and all communities and families that are affected.
Unifor supports the call of Indigenous leaders for a nationwide probe of former residential school sites. The federal government must ensure Indigenous communities have the resources to find answers about missing children as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s “Missing Children’s Project”.
Unifor understands that solidarity is the key to truth and reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Metis people in Canada. Unifor is committed to using its bargaining power, mobilizing power, and political power to bring about transformative change.
What Unifor members can do:
Unifor supports the 94 recommendations issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They are an urgent call to action for government and organizations to take meaningful action on a many outstanding issues, ranging from protecting language and culture to education to ensuring justice for the victims of residential school violence. Contact your Member of Parliament and demand they be a vocal supporter of the 94 Calls to Action within their caucus and to government.
Add to Unifor’s $10,000 donation to the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation to build community solidarity and support:
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc 200-330 Chief Alex Thomas Way Kamloops BC, V2H 1H1
Add to Unifor’s existing sponsorship of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) “Honouring the Gifts—MKO Youth Cultural Celebration” youth arts festival beginning June 21 (National Indigenous Peoples Day) and carrying through to June 25.
Donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
Participate in Indigenous History Month, which starts Tuesday. Unifor is coordinating action and activities across the country to fight for truth and reconciliation. Visit org/ihm2021 to find out more.
Learn more by participating in Unifor’s Turtle Island webinar series. Next session: “Honouring Treaty Rights” Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.
Encourage support, by those who are able to, for local and regional organizations, programs or initiatives to engage in active reconciliation with Indigenous people.
With all of your efforts, please amplify Indigenous voices in your community.
Whichever action you take, please share your work with the National Office and on social media so others can follow our example to do their part in reconciliation.
View the statement on our website here.