May 31, 2021

Statement on behalf of Habitat for Humanity Canada and Habitat for Humanity Kamloops on the tragic discovery at the Kamloops Indian Residential School

We are profoundly saddened to hear about the discovery of 215 bodies at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School last week. Our thoughts go out to all those impacted by this tragic discovery, in particular our friends in the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation where this tragedy occurred.

Habitat for Humanity organizations across Canada work with Indigenous families on and off Traditional Territories as part of our Indigenous Housing Program, which fosters equitable partnerships rooted in respect for Indigenous culture. Together we help deliver housing solutions by Indigenous communities, for Indigenous communities. At Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, we serve a region that is home to over 70 First Nations and we are proud to be part of the Secwépemc community. This tragedy has had a profound impact on all of us, and we extend our condolences to our friends and partners in the Secwépemc community and to all Habitat for Humanity Indigenous partners across the country who are grieving.

This shocking discovery has once again shone a light on the historic harms inflicted on Indigenous peoples and has reinforced the urgent need to follow the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation. We support the Indigenous families who want to understand what happened in Kamloops and at other residential school sites across this country. It is what every parent and family would want, and what these families deserve to know.

Julia Deans
President and CEO
Habitat for Humanity Canada

Bill Miller
Executive Director

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops