Joint Statement from MNBC President Lissa Dawn Smith and R1 Director Patrick Harriott on Tseshaht First Nation Unmarked Grave Discovery

Press Release

February 21, 2023

“On behalf of the MNBC Board of Directors, we share our sadness to see the results shared by the Tseshaht First Nation that found a minimum of 67 of the Nation’s beloved children never made it home from the Alberni Indian Residential School.

With each of these discoveries we are reminded of the painful truths and open wound of residential schools, that continue to inflict harm on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities. We are saddened to think of the children that never made it home and the families with lost loved ones. It is unlikely that this will be the last of these discoveries in BC or across Canada. Our thoughts are with all of these people right now and we share in their grief..

We continue to hope for healing and peace for these communities and stand arm-to-arm with the Tseshaht First Nation during these difficult times and offer our Nation’s full support.”

Support services are available for those affected by this news:

  • 24 hour/7 days a week Métis Crisis line at 1-833-Metis-BC (1-833-638-4722)
  • A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former Residential School students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1 866 925-4419.
  • Within BC, the KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia. The KUU-US Crisis Line can be reached toll-free at 1 800 588-8717. Alternatively, call direct into the Youth Line at 250 723-2040 or the Adult Line at 250 723-4050, or online:


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