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  • Crystal Semaganis


June 27th, 2021

Two hundred and fifteen children were found in Kamloops and this news was released on May 28th, 2021. In the weeks following, the truth of our experience is palpable and resonates across the country in waves of collective grief, sadness and sometimes with frustration as we witness the settler reaction to our truth.

Finally, the voices of our Survivors, now Elders... can no longer be dismissed or silenced.​

Canada is a country purported to be built on principles such as human rights, a high standard of living, economic prosperity, rich natural resources and clean drinking water. This is not without a very real human cost, and that is paid in full by the indigenous people of this country.

We are viewed as the lowest class of people, the expendables. We have the lowest expectations placed upon us and dismal stereotypes abound - from being labelled thieves, drunks, beggars, prostitutes, drug addicst, homeless and vagrants. We face racism, prejudice, economic polarity and socio -economic quagmire. This creates additional barriers for an already marginalized people.

Despite the factual evidence before us, the upcoming Canada Day holiday seeks to further amplify civil unrest. Many marches and protests are being planned for Canada Day as activists like myself encourage the entire population to wear Orange in solidarity with our Residential School Survivors. Others say the holiday has nothing to do with the 215 or the subject of Residential School deaths.

My question is, this country was built through the subjugation and exploitation of Indigenous People and the natural resources we protect. The growing number of bodies that clearly demonstrate this, is currently at 1,388 and growing.

What, exactly... are we celebrating?

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