Pathways Canada understands the value of a meaningful education. We also understand, from our own learning and listening as a non-Indigenous organization who supports Indigenous students from coast to coast, that Indian Residential Schools were not in fact places to learn but instead, places to colonize, assimilate, and harm the bodies, minds, and spirits of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children.

While our good thoughts go out to all Indigenous Peoples this week who are understandably struggling, including Residential School Survivors and their family members and the membership of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, we acknowledge the 215 children and their families whose remains were found on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Yet good thoughts are not enough.

The remains of these children are a sad reminder of the horrors and insurmountable loss suffered by Indigenous children and families due to Canada’s residential school system. We also acknowledge that Indigenous people in Canada continue to face systemic racism and injustices today, and as an organization, individuals, and a country, we must continue to build our competency to act on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We have learned that this truth of inequity is not only found in history: it is present day for Indigenous Peoples.

We acknowledge the significant responsibility we have been granted by students, partners, communities, families, and First Nations as a resource that supports Indigenous students. We reaffirm our commitment to our work and to continually build our knowledge and understanding, so as not to cause further harm. To all Indigenous youth, we want you to know that you matter to us.