DRI’s Statement on the Recent Tragic News from Canada

  • June 17, 2021

Dear Members,

As with the rest of the world, DRI is horrified by the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children buried on the site of a former residential school in Western Canada. From the mid-1880s until as late as 1996, residential schools were operated by the Canadian government and administered by churches across the country. During this time, indigenous children were separated from their parents and removed from their communities. While at these residential schools, children were subjected to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. The discovery last month serves as a painful reminder of the thousands of children who never returned home and their families who did not know what happened to their loved ones.

In 2008, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was established with a mandate to inform Canadians about what happened in these schools. The Commission documented the truth of survivors, families, communities, and anyone personally affected by the residential school program. Following a five-year investigation, the Commission released a comprehensive report including 94 Calls to Action which can be found here.

DRI joins with all those who mourn the lives of these children, and grieves with all of those who have suffered from the traumatic impact of these residential schools, historically and at present.

 

Sincerely,

Emily Coughlin
Emily Coughlin
President

Dean Martinez
Dean Martinez
CEO

Laura Emmett
Laura Emmett
Canadian Regional Director

David R. Mackenzie
David R. Mackenzie
DRI Country Representative