We Welcome the Children Back Home: The Burden of Sorrow and Survival of the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada
“Brave Survivors, through telling their stories, have stripped white supremacy of its legitimacy.”
Phil Fontaine, Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
In response to the Government of Canada’s 2008 Statement of Apology – to former students of Indian Residential Schools
On Wednesday, September 20th 2023, we were honored to welcome an esteemed panel of Survivors of the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada. The depth of their individual truths and shared truthfulness is equal to their strength of character and wisdom. Their stories, their memories, their intense burden of sorrow and survival is a stark reminder of the need and urgency to inspire a momentum of profound action to really get at the work of transformative change in this era of truth, reconciliation and redress.
Margaret Commodore, Fran Tait, Constance Humchitt, Fran Tate, Wally Samuel, George Jack Thompson, Robert Daniels, and Charlie Thompson – we are absolutely honored and grateful for your courage, wisdom and generosity of heart and soul. All of us who witnessed your individual determination and collective dedication to this important conversation owe you all a debt of gratitude, and we pledge to commit ourselves to the work of truth-telling, reconciliation and redress.
Our deepest gratitude to Shane Pointe and Cynthia Jamieson providing cultural and wellness support.
We raise our hands to all of you with our most sincere thankfulness, and offer our compassion and love to wrap around each of you like a warm blanket in times of remembering – ƛ´eko ƛ´eko | Huy tseep q’u|Gila’kasla | Nakurmiik | Marrsî | Thank you.
In the Spirit of Respect,
Derek K Thompson – Thlaapkiituup
Director, Indigenous Engagement
UBC Faculty of Medicine