The remains of 215 children that were found at a former residential school in Kamloops was a stark reminder to Canadians about the dark history of the residential school system.
Those are the words of BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Tegeee ahead of tomorrow’s (Thursday) National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Teegee told Vista Radio the lasting effects of residential schools are still being felt.
“The result colonization and de facto policies such as the Indian Residential School System have had very detrimental effects on Indigenous peoples and really that is why we are seeing many issues that we are still dealing with.”
“Right now, we are still seeing the truth-telling stated in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations seventy-one through seventy-six where it notes there were many missing Indigenous children and some of them have been found such as the 215 in Kamloops and the up to six thousand across Canada and the United States that have been found.”
He added the country has its work cut out in order to repair the relationships with its Indigenous population.
“To undo, literally 100 years of residential school policy and over 150 years of colonization is a huge task and it’s something we are not going to get over in a matter of a year or two. It is going to take generations.”
Teegee would like to see the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation being recognized in a similar fashion to Remembrance Day.
“It’s really a reflection of remembering those that survived and those that didn’t come home. Also too, it’s a reminder to understand the current state of affairs of Indigenous peoples.”