EPSB.ca » News » Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

<< back to news listing

Board statement on discovery of remains at residential school

Mon, 31 May, 2021

News item: Board statement on Kamloops residential school

The Edmonton Public School Board of Trustees extends our thoughts to those affected by the discovery of unmarked graves of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The treatment of Indigenous people in our country, including the legacy of residential schools, is a genocide.

We recognize the injustice that has been done to Indigenous families. These were children with families who loved them and who should have had long, fulfilling lives ahead of them.

We extend our sympathies to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation and to all who are grieving.

We acknowledge the deep and ongoing harm that the residential schools legacy is having on many people in our city, schools and communities.

Flags at Division schools and buildings are now at half mast and will remain that way until after June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day in remembrance of all of the children who died at residential school and all those who continue to feel the impact of residential schools. 

We support the call from the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations to locate graves in Alberta so that proper cultural protocols can be made. 

We also commit to continuing to work with Indigenous communities to support and educate our students about residential schools.

Schools are supposed to be places where children are loved, cared for and supported. We will continue to remember these children and countless others, while continuing our commitment to and the important work on the actions recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

—The Board of Trustees
Edmonton Public Schools


Help is available if you are wanting to speak to someone. Following are just two of the community resources available:

  • Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS): The Indian Residential School Survivors Society encourages you to take time to care for your Mental and Emotional well-being. Please contact the Indian Residential School Survivors Society 24hr Crisis Line, at 1-866-925-4419, if you require further emotional support or assistance, or visit the Indian Residential School Survivors Society website.
  • Kids Help Phone: Immediate and caring support, information and, if necessary, referral to a local community or social service agency. The 24-hour distress line, at 1-800-668-6868, is staffed by counsellors and trained volunteers who are committed to helping youths in crisis. An online chat is available through the Kids Help Phone website.

Supports are in place in schools as well for Division students and staff. Students can reach out to their teachers and their principal to be connected with supports.