Halifax West High School

Acknowledging Kamloops Tragedy

This week, the remains of 215 children were found at the site of the Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia. Flags are being lowered around the country, and internationally, to honour the children who died at the school. This residential school, among many others, was created by the Canadian government to convert Indigenous youth, eliminate all aspects of indigenous culture and assimilate them into the predominantly white Canadian society. The Kamloops Residential school was in operation for 90 years, only closing in 1978. The Shubenacadie Residential School in Nova Scotia only closed in 1986. The last Residential School, in Saskatchewan, closed in 1996. Two articles and a video are attached for your viewing to educate you more about this tragic period of Canadian history.

Many people are wearing orange today, or changing their profile photos to orange to honour these children and all indigenous children whose lives were lost in residential schools, but it is also a pledge to educate ourselves, to remember, to do better now for our indigenous youth and for all indigenous peoples, our fellow Canadians.  We celebrate Orange Shirt Day on September 30th every year, but must remember, speak up, support and act all year round. We must stand up against racism against all indigenous peoples.

At Halifax West, we stand with our Indigenous students, staff and community members.