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The grim discovery of 215 children at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. on the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation Territory is heartbreaking. As staff members of a nonprofit organization that serves government-assisted refugees as they settle in Waterloo Region, we know firsthand the horrors that they have faced in their homeland, have happened here in Canada to our Indigenous brothers and sisters.  

During this time, we hold space for those grieving these lives and the lives that have yet to be unearthed. As we work through our grief and anger, we think of the families and the survivors who live with unending pain and offer them support, healing and time.  

As a team of helpers, we cannot sit still and do nothing. As part of our organization’s mission and as part of the response to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we have been in talks with local Indigenous communities and leaders to ensure that communication and education between newcomers to Canada and our Indigenous Peoples continues to build bridges.