Template letter / Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action
The news of mass graves being uncovered at Canadian Indian Residential "School" sites is outraging and so incredibly painful. Non-Indigenous folks must rally for truth and reconciliation. We encourage you to take this grief and pour it into action. Write to your local Members of Parliaments, donate to grassroot organizations (such as Bent Arrow), talk to your non-Indigenous friends and families about these events, support your indigenous friends and family by being a non-centered ally.
Bent Arrow Healing Society ( https://bentarrow.ca/ ), a local organization in Edmonton, Alberta, offers a template letter to be forwarded to locally elected bodies.
We encourage you to share this letter with elected officials. Please find a copy of it below.
(Insert date here)
Hon. (insert local MP)
Dear Hon. (MPs name),
My name is (insert name here) and I am a constituent in your district at (insert postal code). I am writing this letter with a great deal of grief and concern. The news Friday May 28th of the 215 children’s bodies that were recovered at the former Kamloops Residential School has shaken the nation. To some this may come as a surprise but to others who are educated on the cultural genocide of Indigenous peoples in Canada, this tragedy was unfortunately to be expected. And now, 751 more children have been found at Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan*.
I am strongly encouraging you to take action and request funding for forensic archeology investigations in collaboration with Indigenous communities to occur on every Indian Residential School grounds, including those that operated without federal support. Although there is a petition for a National Day of Mourning for the lost children of residential school, I believe coupled with the concrete actions I am strongly encouraging you to advocate for would better address the still very dark and shameful current chapter of our country’s history.
This action is a part of Truth and Reconciliation that the Government of Canada committed to back in 2015. As one of the main perpetrators of this violence against Indigenous peoples, your government must take concrete actions to mend its relationships with Indigenous peoples in meaningful ways.
As the Government of Canada, you must do better; you must honour and respect the lives of these children and the families who never received answers by giving them a proper resting place. Their voices, which would have carried knowledge, language, love, and tradition, have now been erased at the hands of the Canadian government.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to my concerns, and I look forward to receiving a response from you on this matter.
*June 24 Marieval Indian Residential School mass grave discovery added to the first paragraph.
Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society is an organization in Edmonton, Alberta that is committed to building upon the strengths of Aboriginal children, youth and families to enable them to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally so that they can walk proudly in both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Communities.
For more understanding, please visit the sites below.
- Legacy Of Hope, A History of the Residential School System in Canada
- Stolen Children, Residential School survivors speak out
- Indian Residential School History & Dialogue Centre
- The Children Remembered