Message from Director of Education

June 24, 2021

Good afternoon,

As you read this message, I want to warn you that it may elicit feelings of sadness, trauma, hopelessness and maybe even despair. Please know there are links for support at the end of the message. At KPR we don’t travel the road alone, we lean on each other for support.

We come together, as a learning community of students, staff and families, to express our heartfelt sorrow and sympathies to everyone affected by the ongoing discoveries of children’s graves at residential schools, including emerging news today of Marieval Indian Residential School, in Saskatchewan.

This is yet another marker in the continuing narrative of the horrible impacts and generational harm of the Canadian Residential School System.  This discovery, like the recent one in Kamloops and others yet to come, is the mandate for action towards Reconciliation. As a community, let us all continue to educate ourselves and others, and raise awareness of the tragic history and creation of the residential school system and its ongoing legacy.

We wanted to take the opportunity to remind everyone of the information and resources that are available through our Indigenous Education department App on KPR on the Web,  from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) and through grade appropriate Canadian Residential School System teacher resources, supported by www.orangeshirtday.org

Please be mindful to continue supporting our students, with special care and attention to the Indigenous students, staff and families within the KPR community through the trauma of these continued discoveries.

To support students, staff and community, we share culturally relevant, local and national crisis hotline information below:

National Indian Residential School Crisis Line

https://www.irsss.ca/faqs/how-do-i-reach-the-24-hour-crisis-line

Nogojiwanong Friendship Center

https://www.nogofc.ca/  705-775-0387 ext 238 Mental Health and Well-being Worker

Niijkiwendidaa Anishnaabekwewag Services Circle (Counselling and Healing)

http://www.niijki.com/  705-741-0900 main line.

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line

Hope for Wellness Help Line awareness resources

Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868

https://kidshelpphone.ca/

Crisis Services Canada 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645

https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/

Trauma supports and resources are also available through our Special Education, Professional Services department here: https://www.kprschools.ca/en/students/well-being/mentalhealth.html, as well as through the attached information sheets for educators.

We encourage everyone to use the resources available here to learn further about the realities of the residential school system, its ongoing legacy, and how we can be informed agents for change.

Sending love and light to each of you on this very difficult day.

Sincerely,

Rita Russo,Director of Education

 

 

Letter from Chairperson of the Board and Director of Education

May 31, 2021

Dear KPR Students, Staff and Families,

It is with deep sorrow that we are writing to you today about what we know is on the minds of many: the 215 children whose lives were taken at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. Our heartfelt sympathies are extended to the survivors and their families. To honour and remember the lives of these children and the terrible loss experienced by their families and their communities, flags at all KPR schools and Education Centre sites will be flown at half-mast and will remain lowered for 215 hours (9 days) – one hour for each child whose life was taken – from May 31 to June 8, 2021.

This tragedy serves as a difficult reminder of the impact of the residential school system and the thousands of children whose lives were lost and whose families were broken. Regrettably, this is but one story in the continuing narrative of the horrible implications and generational harm of the Canadian Residential School System.  This discovery, like so many others, is the mandate for action towards Reconciliation.  As Canadians, and as an education system, we have a role to play, to take action to educate ourselves and others in raising awareness of the tragic history and creation of the residential school system and its ongoing legacy. Today and every day.

As part of that commitment, we encourage everyone in our communities to use the empathy and grief in these moments to become informed agents of change. Information and resources are available from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) and through grade appropriate Canadian Residential School System teacher resources, supported by www.orangeshirtday.org

We are also very conscious of supporting our students, with special care and attention to the Indigenous students, staff and families within the KPR community, in their grief at this time, and the trauma that continued discoveries such as this may generate.

To support students, staff and community, we share culturally relevant, local and national crisis hotline information below:

National Indian Residential School Crisis Line

https://www.irsss.ca/faqs/how-do-i-reach-the-24-hour-crisis-line

Nogojiwanong Friendship Center

https://www.nogofc.ca/  705-775-0387 ext 238 Mental Health and Well-being Worker

Niijkiwendidaa Anishnaabekwewag Services Circle (Counselling and Healing)

http://www.niijki.com/  705-741-0900 main line.

First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line

Hope for Wellness Help Line awareness resources

Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868

https://kidshelpphone.ca/

Crisis Services Canada 1-833-456-4566 or text 45645

https://www.crisisservicescanada.ca/en/

Trauma supports and resources are also available through our Special Education, Professional Services department at  https://www.kprschools.ca/en/students/well-being/mentalhealth.html, as well as through the attached information sheets: Educators on Tragic Events and Managing Strong Emotional Reactions.

We thank you for your continued support and caring for our students as we process the news of this senseless tragedy. We once again encourage everyone to use the resources available here to learn further about the realities of the residential school system, its ongoing legacy, and how we can be informed agents for change.

 

Sincerely,

Diane Lloyd                                                    Rita Russo
Chairperson of the Board                                 Director of Education