For Immediate Release / May 30, 2021

Statement from St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron

Like many Canadians, I was heartbroken when I heard the news that the bodies of 215 children were discovered in an unmarked grave on the grounds of a former residential school near Kamloops, BC. 

The devastating impact residential schools have had on Indigenous communities across our country continues to be a source of sadness, anger and frustration. 

Recognizing and acknowledging the terrible history of residential schools, and the role they continue to play in the lives of the Indigenous community, is a critical step in our efforts towards truth and reconciliation and a long healing process. 

Effective 8 a.m. May 31, 2021 the City is lowering the flags at municipal facilities to half mast in memory of the 215 children whose remains were discovered at the Kamloops Residential School, the generations negatively impacted by the two residential schools in St. Albert, and all victims, survivors, and their families of residential schools across Canada.     

In St. Albert, we hope to continue building relationship with the local Indigenous community, who can guide us in addressing the Calls to Action for municipalities outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

I plan to visit the Healing Garden in the coming days, as do many of my Council colleagues. Once there, I will reflect on this sad chapter in our history, recommit myself to the process of reconciliation and show my support for and solidarity with the Indigenous community. 

In the coming weeks, once the provincial public health measures have eased, I plan to organize a somber walk from St. Albert Place to the Healing Garden, where members of our Indigenous and non-Indigenous community can travel together, just as we must on the long journey towards reconciliation. 

Please note that the National Indian Residential School Survivor Support Line provides support for former students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24 hour national crisis line at 1-866-925-4419.

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Last edited: May 30, 2021