On the Discovery of the Massive Grave of 215 Indigenous Children Found by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation at the Former Kamloops Indian Residential School
The Electric City Culture Council (EC3) joins many other arts and culture organizations across the country to express our heartfelt grief, and sadness at this discovery and to send our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families, to the multiple generations of families, experiencing the traumatic impact of the residential school system in Canada. Our thoughts go out to them. We know that this is yet more proof of our colonialist history and its legacy of cultural genocide, and that the road to justice is long and complex. It asks something of all of us.
We pledge to continue our to work to make our own organization more inclusive of and more responsive to the needs of Indigenous artists, to take consistent action on advocacy for more public funding for Indigenous artists at all levels of government, and to work to support other local arts organizations to do the same. These must be constant and on-going commitments. We must seek and take advice from Indigenous artists and listen, watch, reflect and act based on what we learn from their work.
This “discovery” should not come as a “shock”. Not if we have been paying attention to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. Government will only act when they believe that this is something that matters to voters. That elections might be won or lost based on their response. So please write Prime Minister Trudeau, the Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations (Carolyn Bennet) and Indigenous Services Marc Miller and your MP and MPP. Let them know that honouring and following through on the Calls to Action matters to you.
EC3 is grateful to have the opportunity to work with Indigenous artists and community partners in Nogojiwanong. We value these relationships and the work we do together.
Grieve, give life to your solidarity by acting and experience and support Indigenous artists.
We encourage everyone to look at the resources and books in this resource list around Indigenous Residential Schools from the Group of Ontario Emerging Museum Professionals, which includes helplines and supports, as well as an extensive reading list about the topic.