On June 1st, 2021, Bharat Masrani, TD's Group
President and Chief Executive Officer, shared the following important message
with TD colleagues about the discovery of the remains of 215 children found buried in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc at the former residential
school near Kamloops B.C., expressing TD's support for members
of Indigenous communities and commitment to helping address the impacts
of racism and discrimination in all its forms.
Like many of you, my heart is heavy as I reflect on the terrible news about the remains of 215 children found in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc at a former residential school near Kamloops, B.C. I extend my sincerest condolences to the members of Indigenous communities who are reliving this painful trauma as they grieve this tragic loss of life.
The discovery in Kamloops is an example of the dark legacy of Canada's residential school system, which saw more than 150,000 children taken from their families and communities. These children were subjected to forced assimilation, neglect and abuse—and tens of thousands of residential school survivors and their descendants are still coping with the damaging and lasting impacts today.
Many of these survivors have bravely contributed their first-hand testimony to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help us understand their experiences, unearth the truth and foster healing and reconciliation. TD continues to support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to corporate Canada and we remain committed to doing our part in advancing reconciliation. Today, we are flying our flags at half-mast at our TD Centre headquarters and other TD locations across Canada, in solidarity and remembrance.
June 1st marks the beginning of National Indigenous History Month in Canada. Our activities this month will provide an opportunity to commemorate and celebrate the history, cultures and achievements of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. It is also a time to reflect on the resilience of Indigenous Peoples and acknowledge the struggle, both against acts of racism they face today and the past actions that sought to erase their identity.
On June 21st, we will host our second annual National Indigenous History Month Virtual Event, bringing together colleagues and guest speakers for a virtual celebration to recognize and promote the history and culture of Indigenous Peoples. I invite you to take the opportunity to deepen your understanding and the work ahead on our path toward reconciliation so that we can build a better future together.
For colleagues personally impacted and who would like to speak to someone, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line can be reached at 1-866-925-4419. And as always, professional support can be found through our Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP).
My thoughts are with everyone in our TD family touched by this tragedy.