Statement Regarding the Kamloops Indian Residential School

All of us are still processing news of the discovery of a mass gravesite of children attending the Kamloops Indian Residential School. The reaction to this news has evoked a profoundly wide range of emotions in all Canadians, especially those who are a part of the Indigenous community and more especially the members of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation.  Some of those emotions have been shock, profound sadness, grief, and anger.

On behalf of the Council of the Federation, I wish to express our condolences to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc peoples and all those affected by the discovery of the mass gravesite, being evidence of tragic events that will forever stain our nation.

I believe it is incumbent on all of us to personally reflect on this tragedy and how we might each do a small part in healing the wounds that have been opened and re-opened for many as a result of these events.

As legal regulators, one of our roles is to ensure that legal professionals in this country are educated about the legacy of the Indian Residential School system in Canada, as well as the consequences of that policy on Indigenous peoples and communities today. Part of our mission is to ensure that we do not perpetuate historical wrongs.

Steve Raby, Q.C., President
Federation of Law Societies of Canada