Statement on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation’s Recent Findings at Kamloops Residential School Site

On May 27, 2021, it was confirmed that the remains of 215 children were found buried at the site of the former Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia. 

These remains were uncovered with the help of a ground penetrating radar specialist as part of an investigation that first began preliminary work in the early 2000’s. This tragic loss was spoken about in the community, but had never been documented or confirmed until now. 

In a press release, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir noted that Kamloops Residential School was at one time the largest residential school in Canada, and that given the size of the school, this loss affects communities across British Columbia and beyond. 

With the utmost respect and our deepest sympathy, Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council would like to express our sincere condolences to the families of the children and to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community for this difficult discovery and unspeakable loss. 

“Our heavy hearts are with all the families impacted, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community, and all Survivors who may be triggered as they try to comprehend this devastation,” stated Elected Chief Mark B. Hill. “We hope that this confirmation allows for a path to healing and closure for the families and home communities of the children. We are sending our thoughts and good medicine to Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.” 

These findings are yet again, a stark reminder of the atrocities committed during Canada’s dark history of the residential school system, and we recognize the resulting impacts of intergenerational trauma that continues to exist among our people today. Community members are reminded that if they need help or need to talk to someone about this difficult subject, there are resources available to you in the community: 

  • 24/7 Mobile Crisis Line: 519-445-2204 or 1-866-445-2204 
  • Six Nations Mental Health and Addictions: 519-445-2143 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm) 

Six Nations mourns the children and their families alongside Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.