Statement on Residential Schools – Kamloops Discovery
Jun 8, 2021
The College is saddened and heartbroken by the disturbing news that 215 children have been found buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School and we express both sympathy and outrage in solidarity with Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation and all Indigenous communities across Canada.
This discovery reminds us of a painful chapter in Canada's history and we feel immense pain, grief, anger, and sadness over the news. But the fact is that generations of Indigenous communities in our country have been living with the trauma and legacy of the residential school system for decades. The ‘schools’ operated for more than a century, with the last one closing just 25 years ago. For much of that time, Indigenous children were taught to break ties with their families, communities, and culture.
The present-day inequities our Indigenous communities face in day-to-day life, and in our healthcare system, are rooted in this shameful history. We must all face and understand our past to create a better today for our Indigenous communities and a better tomorrow for Indigenous children.
Since signing the Declaration of Commitment – Cultural Safety and Humility in the Regulation of Health Professionals in 2017, CTCMA has endeavoured to learn about the experiences of Indigenous people living in BC, and to critically examine how we might remove structural barriers to accessing healthcare. We strive to create a culturally safe environment for our Indigenous patients, families and staff and ensure accessible, culturally appropriate healthcare services for all British Columbians.
We remind registrants of the responsibility to provide safe, ethical care to all patients. This includes acknowledging the systemic racism that exists in healthcare and making efforts to recognize, reflect upon, and address any unconscious bias you may carry that could cause harm.
There is much work to be done to address the inequities, pain, and suffering caused by our colonial history in BC and in Canada. Our Indigenous communities have endured so much yet, guided by proud traditions and cultural teachings, always find the strength and resilience to overcome. The stories of these lost children will be told and shared with all Canadians. And we will all be better for the telling.