A statement on the tragic discovery related to residential schools

A Message from Women’s College Hospital and Women’s College Hospital Foundation

Last week, the remains of 215 children were discovered on the grounds of a former residential school in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory near Kamloops, B.C. Our thoughts are with the Secwépemc Nation and all Indigenous communities during this time of mourning. This loss, as well as the death of thousands of other Indigenous children, are reminders of Canada’s shameful residential school system and the trauma experienced by Indigenous communities.

Yesterday, Women’s College Hospital lowered our flags in memory of the 215 children, and in honour of the families whose lives were forever changed. The flags will remain lowered for 215 hours to represent each one of these young lives, and all Indigenous children who endured the residential school system in Canada. While this will not undo the horrors and insurmountable loss, it symbolizes the support of the Women’s College community for Indigenous peoples. Today, and every day, we stand as allies committed to working toward truth and reconciliation.

This latest discovery may have serious impacts on the mental health and well-being of many residential school survivors, along with their friends, families and broader members of the Indigenous community. The National Indian Residential School crisis line is available to provide 24/7 support to residential school survivors and others affected: 1-866-925-4419. 

Every child matters.

Heather McPherson                                              Jennifer Bernard

President and CEO                                                President and CEO

Women’s College Hospital                                   Women’s College Hospital Foundation