It is with heavy hearts that we, the ALIGN team and Board of Directors, acknowledge and grieve the loss of 215 children’s’ lives of the Tk’emlups te Secweepemc near Kamloops BC and the future lives that will be uncovered over time. We have given protocol to Elders to pray for these children and for our work ahead. We humbly acknowledge the painful memories this news raises and hold that knowledge respectfully. We extend our sincere sympathies for those children and their families.

It is important for all us to remember these children and their families- we can pause and reflect, pray, light a candle, smudge, offer support and listen. Indigenous communities are calling on all of us to work together towards true reconciliation, and to take individual responsibility to increase our own knowledge about Indigenous histories and the key issues facing Indigenous peoples today.

This tragedy is a reminder that we need to continue to learn more and do better. ALIGN is focusing on our cultural journey to strengthen the work of allies so all children are given a safe and loving path to follow. 

Supports are available and some are in this bulletin. We must look forward as we reflect on what this means. It is a start to a new Journey, and an awakening to ensure we do our best for children and their families. 

All our relations,

Pauline Smale – President of ALIGN Board of Directors 
Rhonda Barraclough – Executive Director of ALIGN
10 Things You Can Do: Kamloops Indian Residential School  This news has brought the tragedy of the residential school experience to the forefront of the minds of Canadians and the world. Indigenous Corporate Training wanted to share what you can do to ensure that every child is recognized and accounted for. There are many ways to support Indigenous communities every day, click here for a list of what you can do today to show your support.
Honouring Memories, Planting Dreams - an invitation to people of all ages to plant heart gardens in memory of children lost to the residential school system, to honour residential school survivors and their families, and support the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The act of planting represents our commitment to reconciliation.
Indigenous children’s advocate Cindy Blackstock talks to Adrienne Arsenault ..

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller speaks with CPAC's Peter Van Dusen about the government’s support for communities across the country that are impacted by this discovery. He also touches on the $27 million allocated in the 2019 federal budget for funding gravesite
Blackstock on Trudeau: ‘How Much Money Does He Think a Child’s Life Is Worth?’ Canada under the Liberals still refuses to fund First Nations kids equitably. This lifelong advocate still fights for them. This article include excellent Q & A with Blackstone.

The prime minister and the leader of the Official Opposition spoke in the House of Commons Tuesday evening during a take-note debate on the discovery of unmarked graves near the site of a former Kamloops residential school...
The history of residential schools in Canada can be traced as far back as the 17th century. Watch the “Residential Schools in Canada Timeline” video to learn about the significant dates in its history — from the landing of Jesuits in what is now known as Quebec, to the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final report in 2015.
The series is part of a larger awareness campaign created by Historica Canada and funded by the Government of Canada. Along with the podcast, Historica also offers a video series, an education guide, and several new entries on The Canadian Encyclopedia about the history and legacy of residential schools.
Watch - 84-year-old survivor of Kamloops residential school: 'There was rumours of a graveyard' CTV News Former Kamloops Residential School student Emma Baker reflects on the time she spent at the facility after a mass grave was uncovered.
My challenge for you is to listen to, learn from, and share the stories of Survivors of Indian Residential Schools. Too many in Canada today still do not know the truth of what the Canadian Government has done to try to assimilate Indigenous people into Canadian culture. Many Residential School Survivors represent some of the most passionate and ardent advocates of Reconciliation - they want to build bridges between communities all around the country. I’m asking you to listen to their stories and try to live out the teachings they pass on. Visit the site and accept the challenge
Watch - What should happen next after findings at the Kamloops residential school | APTN News In light of the findings at the Kamloops residential school, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) says it's a grim reminder of the work Canada has pledged to do. Melissa Ridgen discussed what should happen next with Lead Archivist for the NCTR, Raymond Frogner.

Watch Kukpi7 Chief Rosanne Casimir talks about the findings at the Kamloops residential school | APTN News According to Kukpi7 Chief Rosanne Casimir, whose mother and grandmother attended the school, there is more work to be done. She talks with APTN’s Tina House about the discovery and where the community is going to go from here. “We are the responsible caretakers here,” she says. “These children are our responsibility.”
Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line 1‑855‑242-3310

Aboriginal Wellness Program 604-675-2551 or 1-866-884-0888