On Monday, June 14, The Nishîyȗ Council of Elders (NCOE) of Eeyou Istchee and the CBHSSJB Nishîyȗ Department issued a statement in the wake of the recent discovery in Kamloops.
We are heeding the TRC calls to action - through land based healing, cultural safety, promoting holistic understanding of health and well-being. We are committed to supporting everyone affected by this news, including our teams and community members.
Many in Eeyou Istchee were forcibly removed from our families, our communities, our culture. We stand together, many generations as more of these undeniable truths are revealed.
Residential schools were a tool of colonization – adverse effects are still felt today; we are first, second and third generation survivors of this genocidal tactic.
But we are resilient, we are healing and we are growing together. By sharing traditional teachings and knowledge of our history, we are building a stronger Cree Nation, instilling pride in our identity and ensuring mistakes of the past are not repeated.
We send our sincere condolences to the families of those children who never returned home in Kamloops, and for those children who are still held in the land. May they be honored, may they, and we all find peace.
We grieve with you
We pray with you
And we put tobacco down for all the children and their loved ones.
Laura Bearskin, Nishiiyuu Miyupimaatisiiun
Roderick and Janie Pachano, Nishiiyuu Council of Elders
This year’s Residential School Gathering took place in Chisasibi from September 1-3, 2016, with a packed three day program of talks, workshops, ceremonies and social activities.