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CMTN acknowledges discovery of human remains at former Kamloops Indian Residential School

May 31, 2021

CMTN community wearing orange on Monday, May 31 in memory of lost children

Terrace, BC 

On Monday, May 31 staff, students and faculty at Coast Mountain College are encouraged to wear orange in memory of the children whose remains were found earlier this week at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

The Coast Mountain College community is saddened to learn about the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School this week. This is a major event and has tremendous impact on the people of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, and all of us as British Columbians.

Coast Mountain College offers support to any staff, faculty or students who are being impacted by this grisly discovery at the former residential school and its surrounding lands. We can only acknowledge our shared grief and hope that it can ensure that history never repeats itself.

“As a member of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, hearing the news about the findings at the residential school…my heart and prayers go out to all who have been affected by the news,” says CMTN First Nations Access Coordinator, Katie Humphrey, who wore orange the day after the discovery, in honour of the children who did not make it home.

The legacy of residential schools affects survivors, families and our communities. It’s important to recognize the serious intergenerational trauma the residential school system has caused. Coast Mountain College is on a journey of reconciliation and this begins with acknowledging the truth about our shared history.

“Coast Mountain College is committed to sharing this history with its students, existing and new employees,” says President Justin Kohlman. “By providing cultural awareness training and offering workshops on the shared history of Canada, together we can start to create a new path forward.”

In honour of the 215 children found, Coast Mountain College is encouraging staff, faculty and students to wear orange shirts on Monday, May 31.

“On behalf of the Board of Governors of Coast Mountain College, we express our deep grief and sorrow in the wake of this discover,” says board chair Xstam’am Hana’ax, Nicole Halbauer. “We hold all the lost children and their families in our loving memory.”



Resources:

• The Keep Me Safe program offers free, confidential counselling services to all students who need support. Both domestic and international students can learn more here:
https://www.coastmountaincollege.ca/student-services/health-wellness/counselling

• For Coast Mountain College staff members, the employee and family assistance program is available 24/7/365, offering confidential support. Call 1-800-667-0993 or access services online at fseap.ca/services

• For more information about Indigenization efforts at Coast Mountain College and our commitment to working toward the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report, and recognizing the UN’s Declaration of Rights for Indigenous Peoples, please visit:
https://www.coastmountaincollege.ca/indigenous-resources/overview

• The Indian Residential School Survivors Society of BC is offering live Tele-Support for anyone triggered by this news:  1-800-721-0066 

Media contact:
Sarah Zimmerman
Executive Director, Communications
Coast Mountain College 
250-641-2206
szimmerman@coastmountaincollege.ca