31 May SLCC Ambassadors and our People mourn for the 215 children discovered on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, at the site of the former Kamloops Residential School
Many of our families were sent there; some of the remains are our children, relatives and friends. We have been mourning since they began taking our children away. We mourned when they never returned. We asked for them, we searched for them, we never stopped missing them. We mourned each birthday, each beautiful day we couldn’t share, each new child born, but not to them. We mourned when Elders spoke up, sharing their truth and trauma. We mourned when no one listened. We mourned when they finally did. Today we mourn again as the science proves what our People have known all along. The world lost leaders, Matriarchs, Warriors, Siyams (chiefs), mothers and fathers. A clearcut of family trees, uprooted and gone.
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler is a place to celebrate the past, future and stewardship of our People, on our unceded territory, with love, partnership, and reverence. We are resilient and committed to our mission of sharing meaningful experiences, educating all, and lifting our distinct Skw̲xw̲ú7mesh and Lílw̓at ways.
We are open and invite you in. Be gentle in your journey, for to many of us these stories are too fragile to surface. Celebrate our people through positive learning. Sit in contemplation in Gallery 3, at the brave intersection of mountain and Indigenous culture, in front of skateboards depicting the horror of Residential Schools.
June is National Indigenous History Month, but this is not a dark part of Canada’s history. It is clear and present. Let this be our chance to connect as a community, learn the truth, feel the pain, reconcile the past, and change the future. The Ambassadors are more than staff, they are a service to a world that wishes to learn the beauty of our culture, language and history.
Thank you to all community members who have reached out or laid flowers and gifts at our door. We welcome your love, feel it deeply, and hope this is the catalyst for change.
215. Pace your tears. It is just the beginning.
Take action and take care
Ways to take action…
- Books for your knowledge. We’ve received numerous inquiries asking for guidance on how individuals can educate themselves on issues facing Indigenous peoples and resources to learn more about our peoples, art, and traditions. Here are a few recommendations.
- There’s so much to learn on our blog: Let’s talk about Land Acknowledgements, Indigenous Youth Revitalize Traditional Fish Skin Leather Technique, Ancient Medicines Part 1: The First Five Months, From Quarantine, Summer Regalia Series Part One: Intro & First Concept
- Follow the SLCC on social and share our posts – we’re stronger together. Follow us on Instagram, like us on Facebook, and stay connected by signing up for our newsletter.
- Be an advocate, stand up and speak up for what is right.
Ways to take care…
- If you need to talk to someone, The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous-specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia. KUU-US Crisis Line can be reached toll-free at 1-800-588-8717 kuu-uscrisisline.com