Toronto/June 2, 2021

Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change (COP-COC) mourns the 215 children found buried in unmarked burial sites at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. We are heartsick at the intense loss to the families, communities, Indigenous Peoples and the country.

We mourn the thousands of Indigenous children who never came home, who were lost to the Indian Residential School System. We are in solidarity with the Tk ̓ emlúps te Secwépemc, Indian Residential School survivors and First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in their grief as they process this recent discovery, while continuing to face trauma and loss from the genocidal legacy of the Residential School system.

The recent discovery was horrifying, but not a surprise. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimated as many as 6,000 children went missing from the more than 130 residential schools. We hold the Government of Canada accountable for its failure to redress the wrongs committed in the residential schools system, to end the ongoing human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples, and to end ongoing colonization.

We call on the Governments of Canada, Ontario and all municipalities to fully implement the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and the 231 Calls For Justice of the National Inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. As settlers on this land, and as a group that was formed to work for racial equality and racial justice, we of Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change commit ourselves to achieve Truth and Reconciliation in ways that best respect and honour Indigenous Peoples, as we advance racial justice for all peoples.

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