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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

CATHY McLEOD -- Mourning our lost children

Learning last week that 215 children were found buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School is a tragedy that has rocked our community, country and world.  Chief Rosanne Casimir, along with leadership of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation, has taken on the heavy burden of caretaking for these lost children.

This tragedy is another reminder of the important work done by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and of how much more work true reconciliation requires.

There are several calls to action in the commission’s report pertaining to the deaths of children in residential school care, including one asking for the Federal Government to work with churches and Indigenous leaders to inform the families of children who died at residential schools of the child’s burial location, and to respond to families’ wishes for commemoration ceremonies and markers, and reburial in home communities where requested.

The full report can be read at: www.trc.ca/about-us/trc-findings.html.

A 24-hour National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former residential school students and those affected at 1-866-925-4419, and B.C. has the KUU-US Crisis Line Society support line at 1-800-588-8717.

My heart breaks thinking of all the loving parents who never saw their children return home, who were never granted the dignity of knowing what happened.

 

Your loss will never be forgotten.

 

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples in Canada

While we reflect during this time of grieving, we must also celebrate the resiliency, rich culture, heritage and achievements of our First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

This June 21 is the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous People’s Day in Canada, announced in 1996 by then Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc.

To allow Canadians to celebrate this special day safely at home this year, there are stories, mystery messages to decode, and many activities to be found at
www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1528210353182/1580759773150

 

Cathy McLeod ... is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo, serving with dedication and integrity since 2008. Her roles have included Shadow Minister for Indigenous and Northern Affairs (2016-2019, 2020-2021) and Forestry and Mining (2019-2020).

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