Published with permission from the author
Reading the recent news headlines about the remains of 215 Indigenous children found at a residential school site in Kamloops hit me hard.
As most of you know, recently and for the first time in my life, I visited the residential school site in Spanish, Ontario, Canada that my family members were taken to. Standing in the burnt out remains of the girls school was one of the heaviest things I have ever felt in my life and knowing that my relations were brought there hurt so much.
My heart is with these children, their families and everyone who is feeling triggered after seeing this in the news.
The Canadian government needs to do searches of all residential school sites as it was estimated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the past that the true number of deaths that occurred in residential schools could be as high as 6,000 and many would agree that it is even higher as there came a time where the government stopped documenting them.
As someone who has worked in group homes, I have seen first hand that Canada is still taking children from Indigenous families and is putting them into the child welfare system. This same system played a part in breaking apart my family even further. Foster homes and group homes are the new residential schools.
We need justice for all Indigenous children and Indigenous people that have been and continue to be affected by the Canadian government. For a moment, take a walk in our moccasins, listen to our voices as Indigenous people and those affected by previous and ongoing genocide and help elevate our truths. Overall, support the Indigenous people in your life as this is a very hard time for us all.
Cody Coyote is an award-winning rapper, entrepreneur and radio host
Watch: Cody Coyote stands in what remains of the Spanish Residential Schools where his family members were once taken