We are heartbroken, hurt, and angry about the discovery of the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the territory of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation on May 27, 2021. Our hearts are with the Survivors and their loved ones, who have always known what we have all just had confirmed. We mourn the loss of their children and grieve with their families and for all the children who are still missing and yet to be found. We stand together with and lift up Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc in their time of grief. Pulling together has never been more important.

At BCcampus, we have been incredibly lucky to receive teachings from many generous Indigenous educators, and our hearts are also with them and their communities.

We are taking time as a group and as individuals to honour the children with the dignity and respect they were not afforded by their so-called caregivers.

For many, this is the beginning of a journey of unlearning and learning. We are here to support those people, as well as those who have already been engaged in the work of decolonizing their own minds and our post-secondary system. We are more focused than ever on ensuring our work supports Indigenous people, particularly students.

Land Acknowledgement 

BCcampus acknowledges the səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) Peoples and the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations of the Lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) Peoples on whose traditional territories we are privileged to live, work, and play. Through our work we are learning to incorporate Indigenous epistemologies into our actions and understandings, supporting decolonization, reconciliation, and Indigenization to advocate systemic changes in the post-secondary environment of B.C.

What are your responsibilities as a citizen and as a professional educator in the B.C. public post-secondary system?

“Together, Canadians must do more than just talk about reconciliation; we must learn how to practice reconciliation in our everyday lives – within ourselves and our families, and in our communities, governments, places of worship, schools and workplaces. To do so constructively, Canadians must remain committed to the ongoing work of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships.”

(Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2015, 21)

The goal as citizens and educators is to decolonize our thinking and our actions. Educators have a great deal of power and agency to make choices that affect thousands of students over a career – choices about course curriculum, policies, assessment, technologies, and their own behaviours and approaches to facilitating learning. 

The first and ongoing action is your own deep listening and active pursuit of learning about Indigenous Peoples and histories. And there are specific things you can do as an educator. If you are non-Indigenous, don’t rely on your Indigenous colleagues, friends, and acquaintances to help you navigate your own learning and feelings.

Here is a list of resources and actions you can take

Learn whose land you’re on, and write a personal land acknowledgement:
Learn about residential schools in Canada:
Learn about Indigenous histories in Canada:
Learn about decolonizing your course materials and teaching practices:
Provide counselling and supports:
  • Action for teaching: Provide your students with information about supports and services available at your institution and from the Indian Residential School Survivors Society as resources they can use for counselling, healing, and crisis support.
Familiarize yourself with relevant federal policies and foundational documents:

Subscribe to the quarterly newsletter from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.