215+ Pledge

Since May 28, 2021, when news broke of the recovered remains of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, both Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians have been expressing widespread grief in person and across social media. The announcement of these 215 children was a starting point for many who are learning about this part of our history, based on the stories shared for years by Survivors of residential schools, we know this is only the beginning. The number “215” is a symbol of the start of these recoveries and this movement. 

Hundreds more unmarked graves have been recovered and more searches are underway. 

  • Brandon Indian Residential School: More than 100 graves recovered on the grounds of the Brandon Indian Residential School in Manitoba. Read more. 
  • Marieval Indian Residential School: 751 unmarked graves announced by Cowessess First Nation at Marieval Indian Residential School on June 24, 2021. Read more. 
  • St. Eugene’s Mission: 182 graves recovered at St. Eugene’s Mission announced by the Lower Kootenay Band on June 30, 2021. Read more. 
  • Kuper Island Industrial SchoolMore than 160 unmarked and undocumented graves at Kuper Island Industrial School confirmed by the Penelakut Tribe on July 12, 2021. Read more. 
  • Muscowequan Indian Residential School: In 2018, 35 unmarked graves were recovered on the grounds of the former residential school in Saskatchewan. Read more. 
  • Red Deer Industrial School: During initial radar work in 2005 & 2006, the Remembering the Children Society found the remains of 42 children in an unmarked graveyard, as well as another location. Read more 
  • Sacred Heart (Providence Mission): A monument was built marking about 300 people buried there, including 161 Indigenous children. Read more. 
  • Regina Industrial School: At least 35 unmarked graves recovered from ground-penetrating radar search in 2012. Read more.  

We will endeavour to keep this page updated to honour the spirits, families, and communities.  

With this outpouring of grief, many are asking what to do next. There is a path to build upon the stories of the lost children of Canada’s Indian Residential School system in the same way that remembering stories like Chanie Wenjack’s changed conversations about reconciliation across Canada. Together we can ensure that the lives of the children across Canada who died while attending residential school are honoured.

Individuals, families, communities, and organizations can take the pledge and create their own ways to act. This is a call to action, not a prescribed path to achieve the change.

#215Pledge. An action plan for the lost children who died in Canada's residential schools, focused around the Five Stages of Grief. Deny the narrative that suggests this was an isolated event. Anger should be embraced to build momentum for justice. Negotiate the search for undocumented grace sites across Canada. Despression. Reunite families with the remains of loved ones. Accept the experiences of all who have been affected by residential schools. #DoSomething #Reconciliation #215Pledge #SSN

#215Pledge is a growing coalition to call for #reconciliACTION.

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) will be hosting a form for individuals and organizations to join the #215pledge movement. A growing coalition, supported by DWF will be a nexus for bringing us together.

Join us in calling for these actions so no child who died while in the care of a residential school is lost and that the experiences of all those affected by residential schools are honoured.

Sign the pledge and join us in calling for leaders and decision-makers to take action.

#reconciliACTION #DoSomething #SafeSpaces #215Pledge

Take continued action by writing a letter to your local member of parliament.

Continue your learning journey with these recommended resources.

 

If you or anyone you know is Indigenous and needs support, the Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24/7 at 1-866-925-4419. Please find additional mental health resources below.

National Mental Health Crisis Support:

Canada Suicide Prevention Service 24 Hour Crisis Line: 

1-833-456-4566 

Text 45645 (4PM – 12AM EST) 

Kids Help Phone 24 Hour Services: 

1-800-668-6868 or text CONNECT to 686868 

Live chat 6:00 pm – midnight EST: https://kidshelpphone.ca/live-chat

Crisis Support by Province:

https://thelifelinecanada.ca/suicide-prevention-crisis-centre-contact-information/crisis-centres/canadian-crisis-centres

Mental Health Crisis Lines and Mental Health Resources for Indigenous Community Members:

Hope for Wellness – Indigenous help line:

1-855-242-3310

Online chat:  https://www.hopeforwellness.ca/  

Indian Residential School Survivor 24 Hour Crisis Line:

1-866-925-4419 

Canada Suicide Prevention Service 24 Hour Crisis Line: 

1-833-456-456 

Text 45645 (4PM – 12AM EST) 

Kids Help Phone:

Indigenous Peoples can connect with an Indigenous volunteer crisis responder, when available, by texting FIRST NATIONS, INUIT or METIS to: 

686868 for youth 

741741 for adults 

Government of Canada:

https://www.sac-isc.gc.ca/eng/1576089278958/1576089333975