Today in Williams Lake, the preliminary findings of the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School Investigation were announced by Williams Lake First Nations Chief Willie Sellars. The nine-month investigation revealed the presence of 93 ground reflections on the site that are consistent with graves, as well as a terrible history of abuse and cover-ups.
Tolko, like others across Canada and around the world, were dismayed last year to learn of the 215 children found buried near the former Indian Residential School in Kamloops, and we knew that there were more devastating announcements to come. Tolko works with over 80 Indigenous communities, and we realize that the pain and the losses being felt by the Secwepemc First Nation also run deep throughout the larger Indigenous community.
We will continue our reconciliation efforts and we encourage our employees and colleagues to take a moment to reflect on the loss and tragedy brought on by Indian Residential Schools. We remain supportive of the Orange Shirt Society, and their work on raising awareness about Indian Residential Schools, and we hope everyone will wear orange shirts to reflect that “Every Child Matters.”
Indigenous peoples are our co-workers, friends, families, and neighbours, and we stand in solidarity with them as we fly the flags at our Williams Lake operations at half-staff this week.