OCASI statement in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples
Toronto/June 2, 2021
OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants mourns the children found in unmarked burial sites at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Our hearts are heavy at the profound loss of 215 young lives cut short, to the families, communities, Indigenous Peoples and the country.
We mourn the thousands of Indigenous children who never came home, lost to the Indian Residential School system. We stand in respect and solidarity behind the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc, Indian Residential School survivors and First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples as they process this recent discovery, even as they face the ongoing trauma from the genocidal legacy of the Residential School system.
We hold the Government of Canada accountable for its failure to redress the wrongs committed in the Indian Residential Schools system and its failure to end ongoing human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples.
We call on the Government of Canada to fully implement the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and the 231 Calls For Justice of the National Inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
We commit ourselves to the Calls to Action and Calls for Justice in ways that respect and honour Indigenous Peoples, and the call to action from Chief, Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir of the Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc in a May 31, 2021 statement:
“We ask all Canadians to reacquaint themselves with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report and Calls to Action – upholding the heavy lifting already done by the survivors, intergenerational survivors, and the TRC. In addition, to show your solidarity, we encourage you to wear an orange shirt and start conversations with your neighbours about why you are doing so.”
The OCASI office is located on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples.
Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
OFIFC mourns 215 Indigenous children and all who suffered at residential schools
Ontario Native Women’s Association
Time for Action to Honour the Lost Lives of 215 Children
National Association of Friendship Centres
NAFC statement on discovery of 215 children at Kamloops Residential School
Union of BC Indian Chiefs
UBCIC Mourns with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, Residential School Survivors and all First Nations