MISSION, BC—The City of Mission recognizes that the following statement may contain information that is difficult for many.

Today we witnessed the Xyólhmet ye Syéwiqwélh (Taking Care of Our Children) team’s Phase 1 knowledge sharing of the oral-historical, archival, and geophysical work into the missing children and unmarked burials at St. Mary’s Residential School, Coqualeetza Industrial Institute, All Hallows School and Coqualeetza Indian Hospital.

On behalf of everyone at the City of Mission, we offer our sincere and deep condolences to all Indigenous Peoples, Survivors, families, and community members who are grieving in light of the painful and heartbreaking knowledge shared today.

“Today was a hard day for everyone in our community, but an important one for us here in Mission,” said Mayor Paul Horn. “We were reminded that real children and families were profoundly harmed by the residential school system. As difficult as it is to hear these stories, it’s a critical part of how we will learn and improve our community.”

To honour and grieve the children whose lives were tragically taken, flags across civic facilities will be lowered to half-mast now through the Truth and Reconciliation Week until October 5.

“The debt left by residential schools and colonial practices can never be repaid, but we must do our part to help in healing and in making sure that we are leaders in reconciliation,” said Horn. “The City of Mission is committed to doing our part through advocacy, inclusive community development, and continued learning.”

More information about Xyólhmet ye Syéwiqwélh is available on Stó:lō Nation website.

A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide support to former residential school students, who can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-Hour National Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.

The Hope for Wellness Help Line for Indigenous Peoples is also available at 1-855-242-3310 or through the online chat via the help line website at www.hopeforwellness.ca.