As you likely are aware, late May, the remains of an estimated 215 children were found in the ground of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. The grave was unmarked and largely undocumented.
I have been profoundly impacted by the findings. As a mother, I cannot even begin to understand how one would cope with their children being taken away and never heard from again. As a Canadian, I am embarrassed by my unacceptable ignorance on the realities faced by children through the Residential School System. I am horrified by the loss each family faced when their children were kidnapped, and even more heartbroken by the torture each child endured. I am committed to educating myself and doing what I can to help these families and generations of ancestors try to heal.
Words and thoughts feel empty to me on this unthinkable news. I’ve grappled with my shame and sadness, and decided that I needed to do something more, even in a limited capacity.
Given this, I have been motivated to raise funds for a few charities that work directly with youth, education and survivors of the Indian Residential Schools.
Today, I ask you to act. Please, choose the charity (or charities) that speaks to you to donate. If you can't donate, please share this as far and wide as you can.
June 21 is Indigenous Peoples Day 2021 in Canada. Let's collectively donate $21,500 to support these groups.
Here is some high-level information on the charities:
The BC Aboriginal Child Care Society (BCACCS) helps Indigenous communities develop high quality, culturally grounded, spiritually enriching, community child care services that are based in the child’s culture, language and history. Their website is https://www.acc-society.bc.ca/
First Nations Schools Association of British Columbia's mission is to "collaborate with First Nation schools to create nurturing environments that develop learners’ pride and competence in their First Nations language and heritage and will equip them to realize their full potential, within self-governing First Nations communities". They were derived in the wake of the residential schools system and became a steering committee for all First Nations schools until they became a formal charity in 1996. Their website is: http://www.fnsa.ca/
And lastly, and probably most known in the current climate is the Indian Residential School Survivor Society who work to provide essential services to Residential School Survivors, their families, and those dealing with Intergenerational traumas. Their website is: https://www.irsss.ca/