Sorrow and Support to Indigenous Communities Victimized by Canada’s Residential School System

The horrific legacy of abuse and death in Canada’s Residential School (IRS) system has been thoroughly documented, and was the focus of 2015’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission Report. That report details cemeteries and graveyards attached to residential schools, and provides the impetus for recent investigations of unmarked gravesites across the country.

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) stands respectfully in support and mourning with Indigenous communities across Canada at the loss of thousands of children, and the unimaginable grief the families of these victims continue to experience. TWUC supports ongoing efforts to identify all those lost to the shameful, genocidal policy of residential schools; and we support the call to action to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

TWUC reasserts its own 2015 resolution:

… to endorse the spirit and the challenge of reconciliation emerging from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and commit to both taking and supporting relevant action, especially focused on increasing the space for Indigenous-authored stories in standard K-12 school curricula, including residential school stories, their context in the history of colonialism in Canada, and their lasting impact. 

Recommended actions:

  • Read and listen to the stories of Indigenous writers and storytellers: 

·       Necessary Residential School Reading (by Waubgeshig Rice), 
·       List of Residential School readings (by David A. Robertson),
·       Indigenous-themed podcasts,
·       Indigenous cinema library
·       The Giller Master Panel: Indigenous Authors Explore Identity Through Language,
·       Other resources — All Lit UpOpen Book49th ShelfBooks for ChildrenVancouver Public LibraryEdmonton Public LibraryWinnipeg Public LibraryToronto Public LibraryHalifax Public LibraryIndigo.

Links to organisations and services:

The Writers’ Union of Canada