Empty pairs of children’s shoes and stuffed animals sit on the steps outside of the Kelowna Law Courts on Tuesday, June 1, in honour of the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently discovered at the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School at Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops. (Aaron Hemens - West K News)

Empty pairs of children’s shoes and stuffed animals sit on the steps outside of the Kelowna Law Courts on Tuesday, June 1, in honour of the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently discovered at the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School at Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops. (Aaron Hemens - West K News)

Westbank First Nation offers condolences after residential school burial site discovery

‘All those whose pain has been triggered by this horrendous act, please know that we stand with you’

Warning: This story contains details that may be distressing to some readers

Westbank First Nation (WFN) Chief and council are offering their grief and condolences to the 215 Indigenous children whose bodies were discovered last week buried in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS).

“To our members, community members, staff members, and all those whose pain has been triggered by this horrendous act, please know that we stand with you,” said WFN.

WFN council representatives attended a roundtable discussion on May 28 that consisted of Chiefs and council members from 17 First Nation communities.

“From what was shared, there are many more communities that have members who attended KIRS and, in acknowledgement, council stands in support of all communities affected by this tragic uncovering of truths which we as Indigenous people have known and felt for generations,” said WFN.

Accountability “must and will be sought,” said WFN.

“We can take solace in knowing these truths have been confirmed and that our children today will not have to defend these truths and intergenerational trauma continuing to affect our communities.

“Most importantly, we can take solace knowing that these children can now be honoured through ceremonies and language that these schools attempted to eradicate.”

The Indian Residential School Survivors Society has a 24/7 emergency crisis line, which can be reached by calling 1-800-721-0066.

READ MORE: Remains of 215 children found at former residential school in Kamloops

READ MORE: Syilx Okanagan Nation calls for accountability after remains of 215 children found


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