Statement from BC Hydro’s President and CEO and Chair of the Board
As we are in National Indigenous History Month – a time meant for all of us to celebrate the unique history, culture and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, and grapple with the profound effects of colonization on our shared history, there are truly no words to express the devastating news of the burial site found at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
The loss of any child taken from their home in the circumstances of the residential schools is simply horrific, and the work done at the Kamloops site is a stark reminder of the many young Indigenous lives lost in the residential school system and the past we all share as Canadians, but which is profoundly felt and lived by Indigenous peoples in Canada. We send our condolences to the Tk'emlúps te Secwe̓pemc and other Indigenous communities for the tragic loss of their children. We know this is one loss among so many more and for this we are truly sorry.
While our relationship with Indigenous peoples and our commitment to honouring their culture is significant every day of the year, June is a particularly important month with the celebrations of National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day. It's also a vital time for us to stop and reflect on the past so we can honour the victims and survivors going forward. We're able to celebrate Indigenous culture today because of the strength and resiliency of residential school survivors and Indigenous peoples.
As a company, we recognize that maintaining and developing our infrastructure has had and will continue to have impacts on the lives and interests of Indigenous peoples. To support our move towards true and lasting reconciliation, we want to again acknowledge our past mistakes as a company and reiterate our commitment to listening to Indigenous perspectives and seeking shared understanding with Indigenous Nations, communities and governments. None of that work can take place without acknowledging the past, and the findings at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School have re-centred us all on how and why we must do better going forward.
We all have a role to play in reconciliation and want to confirm that we will do our best to ensure we are approaching it in a way that drives real, measurable change both within, and outside of our company.
Chair of the Board, BC Hydro
President and CEO, BC Hydro