February 21, 2023
UBCIC Stands with c̓išaaʔatḥ (Tseshaht First Nation) amidst Ceremony Marking Phase I Results of ʔuuʔatumin yaqckʷiimitqin (Doing It for Our Ancestors) Project into the Former Alberni Indian Residential School
(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – February 21, 2023). The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) raise our hands to c̓išaaʔatḥ (Tseshaht First Nation) and commend the Nation’s powerful event at the Maht Mahs Centre, rooted firmly in culture, ceremony, and survivor stories. The phase I results of the ʔuuʔatumin yaqckʷiimitqin (Doing It for Our Ancestors) project into the former Alberni Indian Residential School (AIRS) have confirmed horrific survivor-accounts of violence and abuse, including the verified deaths of 67 students, plus 17 geophysical features representing suspected graves from ground investigations.
Our hearts go out to c̓išaaʔatḥ, the over 70 First Nations who had children forcibly taken to the AIRS, members of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, and all residential school and intergenerational survivors who are impacted by today’s announcement and the ongoing investigations into former Residential Schools across the country.
We acknowledge the heartfelt leadership of Wahmeesh, (Chief Ken Watts), the Tseshaht First Nation administration and community members, survivors, elders, and the AIRS research team for pursuing the truth and undertaking sacred work. We pray for a healing path, offer our support for the c̓išaaʔatḥ Calls for Truth and Justice, and stand behind all BC First Nations seeking justice, accountability and healing.
Wahmeesh (Ken Watts), Elected Chief Councillor c̓išaaʔatḥ (Tseshaht) First Nation
E: [email protected]
TO RSVP, SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW OR SUBMIT A QUESTION, PLEASE CONTACT: Nazaneen Lauriault, AIRS Communications Consultant 50th Parallel Public Relations
C: 250-615-6516 E: [email protected]
GENERAL INQUIRES: Victoria White, Executive Director c̓išaaʔatḥ (Tseshaht) First Nation
P: 250-724-1225 C: 250-667-3859
E: [email protected]
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