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What can you do to help Indigenous people achieve truth and reconciliation?

Last Updated Jun 25, 2021 at 7:33 am MDT

Children's shoes lie on the steps of Calgary City Hall as part of a memorial set up following the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at a residential school site in Kamloops. (PHOTO: Tom Ross, 660 NEWS)

CALGARY – The Cowessess First Nations say they need time to heal after the discovery of 751 unmarked Indigenous graves buried at a former residential school site in Saskatchewan.

The importance of non-Indigenous people supporting local Indigenous communities has never been greater, and many are wondering what they can do to help.

Indigenous lawyer and activist Pam Palmater spoke with our affiliate, OMNI News, and she says the time for action is now, as names are traced back to the unmarked graves.

“Sign petitions, make financial donations to charitable organizations that are working really hard for justice,” Palmater said.


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“There are so many things that people can do, they just have to be intentional about doing them.”

Palmater also says it’s up to you to educate yourself about residential schools, and the complicity of the Catholic Church in removing the gravestones from the burial site.

“Don’t rely on hoping that these issues are covered in the media,” Palmater said.

“Make the intention to go and find out–read the reports.”


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She also says when Indigenous groups ask people to contact their local politicians about an issue, simply doing that is a great help.

“It takes five minutes to send an email, it takes five minutes to type out a letter,” Palmater said.

“These are things that can be done, that have a significant impact.”

–with files from OMNI News and Saif Kaisar