September 30, 2023
UBCIC Calls on Public to Honour Indian Residential School Survivors and Reflect on Painful Truths on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/ Vancouver, B.C. – September 30, 2023) Today marks the first time BC will join the federal government in recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) reminds the BC public that September 30th is not a celebratory holiday, but a day for reflection, education, open dialogue, and action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s findings and 94 Calls to Action.
UBCIC invites the public to stand in solidarity with First Nations, survivors and inter-generational survivors who have shared devastating truths about the atrocities committed by the church and government of Canada in Indian Residential Schools across the country, and their counterparts in Indian Boarding Schools south of the border. Residential schools were a tool of assimilation and colonization and were directly connected to the institutionalized theft of unceded First Nations land and resources. For too long First Nations’ voices have been met with denial, skepticism, belittlement and silence. We encourage the public to come together with compassion and open-heartedness; we call on you to learn the truth about Canada’s racist and genocidal origins on stolen First Nations’ land and to understand the tremendous significance this day holds for First Nations communities, survivors and their families who continue to live with the traumas inflicted at Indian Residential Schools and other violent institutions.
We raise our hands to the Sto:lo Nation, the most recent community to share harrowing results of investigations into missing children at former Indian Residential Schools, which concluded that at least 158 First Nations children died at three Residential Schools and an Indian hospital.
To learn more about the history of Indian Residential Schools and truth and reconciliation, see the Truth and Reconciliation Commission website. For a list of events taking place and ways you can support click here.
We understand today may be particularly triggering to survivors, veterans, and intergenerational survivors. To access mental health supports, see below:
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line and On-line
Counselling Service offers mental health counselling and crisis intervention to Indigenous people across Canada.
Indian Residential School Survivors Society
KUU-US Crisis Line
(First Nations and Indigenous specific)
310– Mental Health: 310-6789 (no area code)
Suicide Crisis Line: 1-800-784-2433
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, 250-490-5314
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 604-290-6083
Chief Marilyn Slett, Secretary-Treasurer, 250-957-7721
UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
For more information, please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca