June 10, 2021
by Melanie Reed
As most, if not all of you listening to this are aware, on May 27, 2021, Chief Rosanne Casimir of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc announced the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried on the grounds of the former Kamloops Residential School.
As an uninvited guest who lives, works and plays on the traditional, unceded territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc people, I extend my deepest condolences, regrets and respect for all the people, families and communities directly, indirectly and intergenerationally affected by this discovery and the loss of these children. These acts of genocide against Indigenous people and communities are reprehensible.
In an effort to amplify Indigenous voices rather than my own, I am going to use any space that would have been Episode 31 of the The HR Mentor to share resources on how you can educate yourself on Canada’s treatment of Indigenous People, how you can support Indigenous People in their healing and protection of their land, how you can amplify Indigenous voices through art and how you can implement employment practices that help create truly equitable employment opportunities.
This list of resources and suggestions is in no way complete or all encompassing. I have compiled it on my own based on my own research. I encourage you to take this as a starting place and the to engage in your own discovery, learning and unlearning.
I am not an expert in any of this. I am merely a fellow learner on a journey to do better.
Today I invite you to join me.
Clean Water, Broken Promises
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Donations
Orange Shirt Day Society
Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society
1492 Land Back Lane Legal Defense Fund
Copper Legacy Indigenous Empowerment Society
Indians on Vacation by Thomas King
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
Johnny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead
Calling My Spirit Back by Elaine Alec
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Hill Kimmerer
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (currently reading)
Recommended Reading by the Canadian Women’s Foundation
Matriarch Movement Podcast by The Brand is Female
Coffee with My Ma - Ma's Picks by Kaniehtiio Horn
A Day For Listening by Downie Wenjack Fund - Indigenous People's Stories
The discovery of these children's remains is very upsetting and traumatizing. If you need support with grief or processing this information please reach out:
A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.
Support is also available for anyone affected by the lingering effects of residential schools, and those who are triggered by the latest reports. The Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-721-0066