We stand and mourn with Indigenous peoples

Photo credit: Jenna Mae Photography

A message from Katherine Hay, President & CEO of Kids Help Phone

June 1, 2021

My heart is heavy as I think about the 215 young lives lost on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. I mourn the loss of these souls with our Indigenous colleagues, partners and friends across Canada.

This discovery is a reminder of the thousands of children who never returned home from residential schools across Canada and remain missing today. We are grateful to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community for their commitment to respectfully documenting this atrocity. It is dark history that we share and acknowledge.

Today also marks the first day of National Indigenous History Month. What should be an opportunity to celebrate the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples who enrich the fabric of Canada in countless ways has become a time of mourning and a renewed call for justice.

We hear from Indigenous youth every day and recognize that the trauma young people experience continues across generations. We see the impact of systematic and systemic racism on mental health and the fractures in our healthcare system that continue to marginalize Indigenous youth.

We will continue to provide support, increase access, and ensure no child is left behind.

We stand with the Indian Residential School System survivors, their families and their communities as they work to heal. This is a time to continue our commitment to reconciliation, recognition and action—every child matters.

—Katherine Hay, President & CEO, Kids Help Phone