BC Chamber Network Pauses to Acknowledge the Stolen Lives of 215 Indigenous Children from Kamloops Residential School

Last week, a tragic story broke in the community of Kamloops, on the traditional territory of the Secwépemc people. The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation confirmed that the remains of 215 children, who were students at the former Kamloops Residential School, have been found. To echo the words of Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, this is an unthinkable loss.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I share our heartfelt condolences with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community, and all Indigenous Peoples and survivors affected by this profoundly tragic discovery.” said Joelle Westlund, Chair of the BC Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. “As a settler, this is a time for me to further my own education on the Residential School System and the devastating generational impact on Indigenous families and culture. Our Board of Directors stands with Indigenous Peoples and we are deeply committed to meaningful and long-lasting reconciliation.”

“This tragedy is felt by all of us.” said Fiona Famulak, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “As a business network, we pause to remember the stolen lives of these children and to express our deepest condolences to their families, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation and the community of Kamloops. The BC Chamber of Commerce and our network of Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade are committed to ensuring that the actions we take through our advocacy and policy work, and our unwavering dedication to growing our province’s economy by focusing on diversity and inclusion, honour the lives lost.”