The BC and Yukon Book Prizes stands with the Indigenous communities of British Columbia and Yukon, as well as those across this land we now call Canada, as we grieve the tragedy of the discovery at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Institutional and colonial violence shapes the lives of Indigenous people. Colonialism shapes the narratives of our country, and prevents meaningful reconciliation. The BC and Yukon Book Prizes celebrates and honours those whose lands we call home, those who care for and steward the land. We join with our colleagues, friends and communities across Canada and call on the federal and provincial governments to respond to and implement the 94 Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. It is necessary that there is meaningful action towards decolonization and reconciliation. We are with the Indigenous communities of Kamloops and elsewhere in their sorrows as they grieve and mourn the loss of their children.
Take Action! Wondering what you can do to work toward reconciliation? Here are some resources for settlers and allies:
- Educate yourself! As settlers and non-indigenous Canadians we need to do the work. Instead of asking our Indigenous friends and colleagues to provide information consult the following resources to inform yourself:
- The report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and commit yourself to the actions in it.
- Materials at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
- Take a free course, such as Indigenous Canada offered by the University of Alberta.
- Books, documentaries, art, essays by Indigenous creators, including the finalists and winners of the BC and Yukon Book Prizes.
- Teach your kids and other young people in your life with:
- Resources from First Nations Child & Family Caring Society.
- “Talking to Kids About Residential Schools” by Monique Gray Smith, BC and Yukon Book Prize winner and finalist.
- Donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.