OCAD U ISSUES STATEMENT ON LOSS OF CHILDREN AT FORMER RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL

Floating tea candles at night

On behalf of OCAD University, we offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families and loved ones impacted by the devastating loss of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.

We acknowledge the profound impact of this loss on OCAD U’s Indigenous community of faculty, staff, students and knowledge keepers.

Today, we witness and stand in solidarity with the survivors of residential schools and with the families separated from their children, who never returned home. We witness and stand by you at the sacred fires. We hear you during this time of immense grief and acknowledge that there is much hard work to be done. We will do the work to hold the families closer because families should have never been separated from their children.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to addressing the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and fostering an educational system at OCAD U that redresses the lasting impact of the genocide against Indigenous people and the horrific legacy of residential schools.

If you need help or support, please contact the OCAD U Student Wellness Centre at swc@ocadu.ca to speak to a counsellor. To speak with our Indigenous Counsellor, you can email Jeanine Claus at jclaus@ocadu.ca.

Additionally for 24-hour crisis support, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former residential school students. You can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the national crisis line at 1-866 925-4419.

Ana Serrano
President and Vice-Chancellor

Caroline Langill
Vice-President, Academic and Provost