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Statement on the recent residential school findings  - posted July 1, 2021

The Edmonton Arts Council offers our heartfelt respect to families and communities mourning the loss of children who were stolen from their families and never returned home from the residential schools. The recent findings of children’s bodies at the residential schools in Kamloops and Cranbrook, B.C. and the Cowessess First Nation, SK, are deeply saddening and enraging. This painful story belongs to all of us. We cannot know the impacts on those who have direct experience of Canada’s residential schools unless it is lived but we recognize we have a role to play in both the truth and reconciliation. 
 
The EAC will continue to learn the truth and engage in reconciliatory action to transform our systems that continue to disadvantage Indigenous peoples. We are committed to building meaningful relationships, wâhkôtowin, and to supporting a cultural resurgence model through Connections & Exchanges. We recognize that Indigenous peoples have agency in revitalizing and participating in traditional, contemporary and future manifestations of their culture. We understand this as integral to reconnecting with land, language, ways of thinking and knowing, community, and culture. It is also integral to the vibrancy of the Edmonton arts community as we continue our collective journey toward the ideals of peace, friendship, and understanding. 
 
The Indian Residential School Survivors Society provides emotional support and assistance and can be reached toll-free at 1 (800) 721-0066 and also the Indian Residential School National Crisis Line at 1 (866) 925-4419. 
 
Additional resources recognized by the City of Edmonton Indigenous Relations Office: 
 
Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program 
Emotional, cultural and professional support services are available to Survivors and their families through a 24/7national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419 
 
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness 24/7 Help Line: 1-855-242-3310 
Visit their website to chat and connect to a counsellor online. Support can be provided in English, French, Ojibway, Cree and Inuktitut. 
 
Mental Health Help Line 
Call 1-877-303-2642 (Toll free) 
24 hour, 7 day a week confidential service that provides support, information and referrals to Albertans experiencing mental health concerns. 
 
24-hours Distress Line - Canadian Mental Health Association 
780-482-4357 (HELP) 
The Distress Line provides confidential, non-judgmental and short-term crisis intervention, emotional support and resources to people in crisis or distress. We also support family, friends and caregivers of people in crisis. 
 
Native Counselling Services of Alberta 
Phone: 780- 451-4002 
Open to any former Indian Residential School student and their family members regardless of their status or place of residence. 
 
Resources for Mental Health - call 211 
Call 211 or Text info to 211 or Go online to chat 
 

 

 

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Edmonton Arts Council • Prince of Wales Armoury, 2nd Floor, 10440 108 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 3Z9 • info@edmontonarts.ca • p. 780.424.2787 | f. 780.425.7620