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YVR and Musqueam mark the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Today is the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. Leading into this day, YVR continued to honour the people of the land through cultural sharing, welcoming newcomers, and strengthening our partnerships through a memorandum of understanding with Iskwew Air, the first Indigenous women-owned and operated airline.

On this day in particular, we take pause to remember, and mourn, the children who never came home from residential school – and also to remember the children who came home suffering from the brutality of those institutions.

Children as young as three were taken from their families and placed in residential schools between the 1870s and the 1900s, with the last school closing in 1996. The schools were an attempt by the federal government to remove Indigenous children from their families to suppress Indigenous languages, culture and spirituality. While attending residential schools, Indigenous children lived a horrific life, experiencing and witnessing atrocities no child…no person…should ever have to endure.

Many children never saw their families again. It wasn't until May 2021, when the first 215 children at the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc residential school were found, that the broader public began their own journey of learning about this dark time in Canada’s history. Since that first announcement, reports of initial investigations at residential schools across North America have put the number of children buried on school grounds at well over 10,000.

Today, and every day, I ask you to remember our children. Children who went into the ground without records, without caskets, without words, without family, without ceremony, without love. And to remember that they were loved -- and they are wanted back home still. I ask you to also think about the families, traumatized by years of disconnection and disempowerment. The repercussions of residential school trauma is seen and felt throughout our communities to this day, and to a next generation striving for change. 

Walking the path of Reconciliation together….

As we continue to learn from our friends at Musqueam, we are working to bring awareness of these truths. As our country continues to mourn the discoveries of unmarked graves, our flags will be at half-mast, the control tower at YVR will be lit orange, and we will observe a moment of silence terminal wide on September 30.

We are committed to continuing to share resources and identify ways to strengthen our work on the path toward reconciliation and our partnership with Musqueam.

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