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The Secwépemc Child and Family Servies Agency holds our hands up to T’kemlups te Secwépemc, Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, newly elected AFN National Chief RoseAnne Archibald and the brave Elders who spoke today at a presentation providing further information about the unmarked graves of 215 children whose remains were found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS).
We echo the calls from Kukpi7 Casimir for the federal and provincial governments to do more to help identify these sacred little bundles who were the target of genocide and assimilation, as well as the many other missing children who never made it home from Residential Schools across Canada.
There can be no reconciliation without truth, and until the full scope of these atrocities is known, until these children are “brought home,” we cannot move on to the healing that Indigenous people in this country so desperately need.
As an agency we strive to live up to the words of Elder Evelyn Camille, a Residential School survivor who spoke so eloquently and frankly about her experiences during the presentation.
“The way of life of our people and our sacred ceremonies must not be forgotten,” Evelyn said when talking about the efforts of Residential Schools to rid Indigenous children of their language, culture and traditions.
This responsibility is a sacred duty, and it drives our work in helping our communities and their children and families revitalize traditional family systems, preserve families and ensure that they maintain that vital connection to culture, community and family.
We know that when First Nations have sovereignty over their children and are properly resourced, the children do better. This is why Elder Evelyn emphasized that “we have to be responsible for our children,” as only through ensuring that our children are cared for our way can we hope to offer a better future for our families and children.
To help T’kemlups te Secwépemc in its efforts to further investigate and honour the 215, please go to

Mike Garrett

Author Mike Garrett

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