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To our Indigenous friends, colleagues and fellow union members

We hold close to our hearts members of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation, and Indigenous people in communities across the country, who learned that the remains of 215 children were discovered in a mass grave on the grounds of a Kamloops Indian Residential School.

We mourn and honour these children, and all the Indigenous children who were victims of Residential Schools.

We recognize your heartbreak, grief and pain. We know the ramifications of this violence and cruelty are still deep, devastating and widespread.

The Canadian Media Guild joins in the calls for the truth of this shameful tragedy to be fully uncovered as demanded by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

We also express our solidarity with you as dedicated media workers, for the added suffering of going through these difficult times while carrying the responsibility of covering these stories.

Here is some of what fellow CMG members have shared:

-“It had a devasting impact on Indigenous families, they tried to kill our spirit. Thankfully it survived.”

-“Who takes children from their homes? It was racist then, and to not be outraged is racist today.”

-“It was barbaric, and now everyone can see proof of what happened. Sadly, the foster system is also proof systemic racism against Indigenous people still exists.”    

-“The discovery of children’s remains in Kamloops may have shocked Canadians but it isn’t surprising. Survivors made it very clear during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that children died by various means and weren’t properly buried or documented.”

-“This is just one of 139 schools – how many unmarked graves and remains of children would be found if you searched the grounds of the other 138?”

-“Canada owes justice to those souls as a step towards truth and reconciliation, as outlined in 71 to 76 of the Calls to Action.“

-“It hurts your whole being, can you imagine someone taking your child away? I can’t bear to think about it.”

-“We see the impact of it every day, so many problems we still see are a direct result of the trauma inflicted through generations of children taken from their parents.”

-“There are still homes without water, or basic services in Canada, how is accepting that not racist.” 

CMG members are encouraged to speak to their regional staff reps and union representatives as needed.

Our union has promoted full support for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action related to Media and Reconciliation. We join those urging immediate action on the Missing Children and Burial Information calls to action.

We also want to share the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line which provides support for former students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866 925-4419.

In solidarity,

Carmel Smyth
President, Canadian Media Guild

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