First Nations Health Directors Association

News

Joint Statement on the One-Year Anniversary of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Findings

May 24th, 2022
FNHA-FNHC-FNHDA-Header.jpg

​​This message contains sensitive content and could be triggering. For crisis support here in BC please contact the KUU-US Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717 or visit the First Nations Mental Health and Wellness Support page for additional support services. A complete listing of support services is included at the end of this statement.

Coast Salish Territory – Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the Secwépemc Nation’s announcement on the discovery of unmarked graves on the former Kamloops Indian Residential School site. While this reality was spoken about in the community, the confirmation of their oral history regarding their Le Estcwicwe̓y̓ (the missing) children who attended the residential school has had a national and international impact. These 215 children were beloved family and community members; they will never be forgotten.

Over the past year, the leadership of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc for all First Nation people in the ongoing legacy of the residential school system has been clearly evident. The discovery by Secwépemc has led to greater investigations across Canada to find more missing children at former residential school sites, including making use of ground-penetrating radar. The Tk’emlúps invitation to the Vatican and apology from Pope Francis were significant steps in working forward.

We support the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community and all BC First Nations as they continue to heal through the culture and ceremonies that were taken away by the residential school system.

FNHA recognizes that this one-year anniversary may be difficult, as the healing of trauma from losing community members is a work in progress. We encourage everyone to take care of their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness during this challenging time. If you require support, please see the resource list below.

Quotes

Colleen Erickson, Board Chair, FNHA

“We honor and acknowledge the hard work of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc people as they continue to be the keepers of this sacred site. The residential school system and findings such as these continue to impact BC First Nations, Canada, and the World. The FNHA is committed to working with our community members to heal from our shared history and work toward building healthy, self-determining, and vibrant BC First Nations children, families, and communities. ” 

Richard Jock, CEO, FNHA

“The FNHA continues to stand alongside the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community and the members who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School as they continue on their healing journey. The impact and legacy of the Residential School system have resulted in intergenerational trauma and negatively impacted our health and wellness. FNHA recognizes the intergenerational resilience of our people as we continue to heal from the significant impacts of colonization and the need to develop additional pathways to address trauma. “ 

Wade Grant, Chair, FNHC

“We continue to rely upon our strength and teachings of our ancestors as we support those in the Secwépemc Nation and across Canada who continue to grapple with the inter-generational trauma associated with Indian residential institutions. Healing and recovery are part of everyday lived experience for First Nations people, and this anniversary reminds us of the need for trauma-informed and culturally-relevant care in mental health and wellness for First Nations people.” 

Keith Marshall, President, FNHDA

“We acknowledge and honour the courage of all those who have done the discovery work in the Secwépemc Nation. From addressing the legacy of residential institutions to confronting racism in health care, our collective work continues as First Nations in BC and others working to achieve human rights and freedoms in all our institutions.”

Wellness and Cultural Supports:

FNHA’s Mental Health and Wellness Supports page: Mental Health and Wellness Supports (fnha.ca)

Tsow Tun Le Lum: Call toll-free 1-888-403-3123 or visit www.tsowtunlelum.org

KUU-US Crisis Line Society: a 24-hour provincial Indigenous crisis line. Adults and Elders call 250-723-4050; Children and Youth call 250-723-2040. Toll-free 1-800-588-8717. Learn more at www.kuu-uscrisisline.com

Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS): Call toll-free 1-800-721-0066 or visit www.irsss.ca

More News

May. 4

Rez Mailbox Totes

Ashcroft First Nation is implementing the use of clear easy clean “tote boxes” to deliver food (hampers/food drops) to community members living on-reserve. A tote is provided to each household, filled with food and dropped outside each home for homeowner to retrieve. This ensures the necessary physical distancing of the staff and the homeowners. These […]

May. 4

Scavenger Hunt

The Osoyoos Indian Band Scavenger Hunt is a wellness initiative designed to maintain healthy cultural activity for Youth and Elders in community while practicing physical / social distancing. It is run by our Youth Worker staff who are on a work-from-home arrangement. The program uses Facebook as the primary avenue for participation. This program promotes […]

Apr. 1

A Mentorship Minute – Episode #3: Motivation

Last month I shared some thoughts around practicing self-compassion when working towards our wellness goals. This month I am thinking about motivation, or more specifically, finding a way to walk comfortably in a middle ground between finding excuses for inaction, and forcing myself into a state of full-steam ahead high gear!

Mar. 1

A Mentorship Minute – Episode #2: Self-Compassion

As I write this, February is coming to a close, and I reflect that this time of year represents an interesting beat in the cadence of the year; it is still winter, yet in many parts of the province spring is already preparing her entrance.

Jan. 26

Joint Statement on Preliminary Findings from Investigation of Former St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in Williams Lake

This message contains sensitive content and could be triggering. For crisis supports here in BC please contact the KUU-US Crisis Line at 1-800-588-8717 or visit the First Nations Mental Health and Wellness Support page for additional support services. A complete listing of support services is included at the end of this statement. The First Nations Health Authority […]

Dec. 8

One Year Since Release of In Plain Sight Report on Indigenous-Specific Racism in BC Health Care

The First Nations Health Directors Association recognizes the one year progress report from Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond on work to implement recommendations from the In Plain Sight report.  The report confirmed what Health Directors know about the daily, lived experiences for First Nations people. Health Directors are the voice of the community, working to transform […]