Statement from Dean Kresta about burial site found at former Kamloops Residential School

Dean Kresta released the following statement on May 31, 2021

The discovery of the remains of 215 children on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School makes painfully real the chilling stories we’ve heard about Canada’s residential school system.

That these children were discovered in unmarked, forgotten graves shows how they were profoundly devalued and dehumanized. It is heartbreaking that this was their fate after being forcibly separated from loving families.

We are mourning with our community and recognize the tremendous pain and grief that Indigenous faculty, staff and students are experiencing because of this horrific discovery; we also acknowledge that those in our college with close ties to Indigenous communities are hurting, too.

We seek to allow all of you the space to grieve in whatever way you need. Please do not hesitate to reach out for support if you need it. There are many people willing to help.

Where to find support:

For USask students, Student Affairs and Outreach provides virtual same-day counselling sessions, mental health intake appointments, and outreach services for students. To book an appointment or connect with a member of the team call 306-966-5757 or email intake@usask.ca

Student Wellness Centre is a primary health care team of physicians, nurses and counsellors who are providing services to students through phone, web chat and some in-person appointments. Same-day service is available; appointments can be made by emailing student.wellness@usask.ca. For after-hours support contact Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Services at 306-933-6200.

Faculty and staff can access someone to talk to through USask's Employee and Family Assistance Program. Call 306-966-4300 or visit the wellness section on PAWS.

The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides an Indigenous-specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's toll-free and can be reached at 1-800-588-8717.

The First Nations Health Authority offers support specifically for survivors and families who have been directly impacted by the Indian Residential School system.

The Indian Residential School Survivors Society can be reachedat 1-800-721-0066 along with a 24-hour crisis line at 1-866-925-4419 for those who need immediate support.


215 Seconds of Silence

On Friday, June 4, the USask community will observe 215 seconds of silence at 2:15 pm in honour of the children found at the unmarked burial site at the former Kamloops Residential School.

If you are unable to join the virtual gathering, please observe 215 seconds of silence at 2:15 pm on June 4 where you are able to. 

Learn more about USask's commemoration. 

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