On January 25, 2022 the Williams Lake First Nation announced preliminary results of Phase 1 of a geophysical investigation at the former St. Joseph’s Mission residential school site that operated between 1886 and 1981. The detailed survey found 93 “reflections” that are indicative of potential human burials. Also known as the T’exelcemc, the Williams Lake First Nation is located within the Secwepemc Nation territory.
This moment requires space for those in the community to process and grieve re-lived trauma of this unfathomable loss for ancestors, survivors and families. The Selkirk College community stands alongside the Williams Lake First Nation and all other nations whose children were sent to St. Joseph’s Mission residential school.
Acknowledgement, truth, support and action are fundamental elements of reconciliation. We encourage those in the Selkirk College community to deepen their layers of learning while supporting Indigenous students and staff, so that the truth of our past can provide the action required in our future.
Support is available for anyone affected by their experience at residential schools, and those who are triggered by these reports. A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for residential school survivors and others affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.