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Ontario Humanist Society Statement - RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL DISCOVERIES

The Ontario Humanist Society shares grief with all Canadians upon the discovery earlier this year of the remains of 215 children at Kamloops British Columbia Indian Residential School in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation territory, and most recently another 751 unmarked graves at the Marieval Indian residential school in Cowessess First Nation, Saskatchewan. Our hearts are with families, survivors of the Indian Residential Schools, and everyone impacted by this painful news.

Residential schools were part of a colonial policy that removed thousands of Indigenous children from their families and communities. The mistreatment of Indigenous people is a tragic and shameful part of Canada's history and the discovery of these mass graves serve as a painful reminder and confirmation of the cycle of trauma Indigenous people continue to endure due to Canada’s persistent failings and lack of action.

It is imperative to acknowledge that this is more than a dark chapter of Canadian history; violence against Indigenous people including children is systemic and ongoing.

As Humanists, we believe in upholding the dignity of every human being and that we have a duty of care for all of humanity. We have great compassion, and share serious concerns, for the wellbeing of survivors and intergenerational survivors of residential schools.

Canada must step up and meaningfully and immediately implement the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

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