The tragic and devastating news about the recent discovery of the mass burial site near the Kamloops Indian Residential School containing the bodies of 215 children serves as a heartbreaking reminder and reconfirms how crucial it is for everyone to continue the journey towards truth and reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples. Residential schools and the systematic destruction of Indigenous Peoples are not a distant chapter in our history. We must all unreservedly acknowledge this truth and address these historical and ongoing wrongs, so we can build a better future.

ACTRA stands in solidarity with our Indigenous Members and communities-at-large and hopes we will see justice for the lives lost in Kamloops and across Canada.

The voices and stories of Indigenous Peoples have been silenced for too long over the course of Canada’s history. Representation matters – on screen and in our communities. Within our union and industry, we will continue to listen and advocate for our Indigenous members to ensure their stories are heard and seen.

June is National Indigenous History Month and provides us with an opportunity to reflect on and learn from the unique heritage, cultures, and traditions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across Canada. It is a time to honour Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and grow by reading, watching or listening to the artistic works of Indigenous creators to deepen our understanding of their stories and perspectives.

To our Indigenous ACTRA members: this news has likely caused or reawakened pain or trauma. If you need support, please call HAVEN Helpline (1-855-201-7823) or visit actra.ca/haven. The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) also provides 24/7 support to residential school survivors and others who are affected.

Union members and the general public are also invited to make a donation to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society of BC if you are in a position to do so.