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Every Child Matters

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We stand in mourning with Indigenous communities across Turtle Island, our Indigenous staff and board members, participants, and partners, as they grieve the tragic deaths of 215 children at the Kamloops Residential School. This number is a small fraction of the children whose lives were lost in residential schools, and we seek the truth and a commitment across our country to document the many layers of this tragedy and the deaths we can account for.

As an organization that works with children, we are heartbroken over the loss of so many young Indigenous lives.

While this mass grave site reveals the past, the systemic oppression of Indigenous people in Canada is not historical. For survivors and their descendants, the impact of residential schools continues today.

We know that:

  • 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their families.
  • Over 130 residential schools were located across Canada, spanning from the 1870s to as late as 1996.
  • 80,000 survivors of residential schools live across Canada today.
  • Only 9 of 94 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action made in 2016 have been implemented.
  • We are still learning the extent of the abuse, neglect and deaths that occurred in residential schools. Historically, some schools had rates of death as high as 75%. Many are undocumented. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports that deaths averaged 4%.

We commit to being a space for Indigenous led gatherings and stewardship that address the impacts of residential schools, to honour and respect Indigenous perspectives and practices, and to collaborate with and learn from Indigenous communities.


If you are interested in being informed and active, you can:

Attend a Taking Action Together session on June 7th, 7-9pm which will support the collective writing of letters to MPs demanding action for the survivors of Residential Schools, and for the families:

Connect with anyone you know directly impacted by this news

Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Month in a way that is meaningful for you Join First Nations Child & Family Caring Society “I Am A Witness” at…

Learn about the reality for children in Indigenous communities today at:

Watch Alanis Obomsawin’s National Film Board documentary — titled We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice (2016)


Educate yourself and your children about our history and insist history curriculum is corrected and updated

Read the Association of First Nations Report Card on Truth and Reconciliation Actions:…

Visit the Indigenous Knowledge Portal at:… to seek resources for age-appropriate stories and tools for conversation with children

Reach out if you would like to talk to somebody after hearing this news, these Indigenous crisis support lines can help: Tsow-Tun-Le-Lum Society: 1-888-403-3123 (7 days a week); Kuu-Us Crisis Line: 1-800-588-8717 (24/7); Indian Residential School Survivors Society: 1-866-925-4419. As well, Kids Help Phone is another resource that provides counselling to youth: 1-800-668-6868