The United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO) – Canada stands in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples across this continent who are grieving and re-traumatized due to the uncovering of a previously undocumented grave at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School (IRS) on the territory of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation. This grave holds the bodies of 215 children and youth killed at this IRS during its operation. This is only the tip of the iceberg and we demand immediate federal implementation of all recommendations of the 2015 report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in particular the six specific Calls to Action (71-76) under the heading “Missing Children and Burial Information.”
In the 1996 report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, survivors of residential schools described horrors inflicted on children and youth by IRS personnel. Intergenerational trauma from these institutions continues to torment Indigenous individuals, their families and communities. As a Jewish organization, we understand the emotional, spiritual, mental, and social complexities of genocide. We strongly condemn all contemporary forms of Indigenous child apprehension and abuse inflicted by Canadian governments, including through child welfare agencies, social services, healthcare, and policing.
The Canadian program of genocide against the First Peoples of this land is ongoing. For example, decade after decade the governments of Canada delay the resolution of Indigenous land rights while allowing the lands to be occupied and exploited by corporate and colonial interests. They continue to: favour use of Indigenous territory for toxic waste disposal; use “modern treaty” methods to circumvent inherent Indigenous rights; battle in court against equity resourcing for First Nation child welfare programs; fail to provide clean drinking water to dozens of communities; and, remain aloof from resolving RCMP involvement in cases of so many missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit and trans people.
The United Jewish People’s Order urges our community members, and people across Canada, to act in solidarity with residential school survivors. Demand full implementation, before the end of 2021, of the six crucial TRC recommendations regarding the burial grounds of all the disappeared IRS children. Write your premiers, the federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, and the prime minister and let them know we want no more excuses — it is time to act.
United Jewish People’s Order – Canada June 2, 2021 firstname.lastname@example.org