Royal College grieves the tragic loss of 215 Indigenous children
We are deeply grieved by the recent finding of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. This tragic discovery underscores the devastation caused by the Canadian residential school system, whose legacy of trauma and harm is directly linked to health inequities currently experienced by members of Indigenous communities. It also strengthens calls for more work to be done to understand the full scope of harm, injury and loss caused by Canada’s history of colonialism.
We stand with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation and all others who are calling for a thorough investigation of all former residential school sites to document the full impact of the genocide and to account for all missing and undocumented deaths at these schools. The Royal College strongly supports culturally safe health care for all Indigenous People, who continue to disproportionately experience racism and injustice in Canada’s health care system and by some health care professionals.
As we said in our statement last fall on anti-Indigenous racism: deliberate and urgent action is needed to disrupt and dismantle the systems and behaviours that perpetuate racism and oppression.
Working in partnership with the Indigenous Health Committee at the Royal College, Indigenous partner organizations and Indigenous colleagues, we will continue our work to embed cultural safety in our physician education and training standards and practices.
Given the disturbing nature of this discovery, we are sharing the following resources
- Mental Health and Wellness Services for Indigenous Children and Youth from the Canadian Mental Health Association
- Indian Residential School Survivors Society (1-800-721-0066) and their 24-hour Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419)
- Hope for Wellness Helpline (1-855-242-3310) or connect online with a counsellor
- Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868)
We stand in solidarity with Indigenous people. We call on everyone, from the federal government to individual Canadians, to implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and we commit to do our part to do the same.
With shared sorrow,
Susan Moffatt-Bruce, MD, FRCSC, PhD, MBA, FACS
Chief Executive Officer,