Langley school superintendent Gord Stewart. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley school superintendent Gord Stewart. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Residential school discovery shows need for change, says Langley schools superintendent

A letter to families noted June is National Indigenous History Month

The discovery of the remains of hundreds of indigenous children who died at a B.C. residential school were on the mind of Langley Superintendent of School Gord Stewart as Anti-Racism Awareness week wrapped up on Friday, May 28.

“At the end of this week, our Canadian society was reminded of the reality of racism in our history and present day,” Stewart wrote in a letter that went out to staff, parents, and guardians.

“Yesterday, Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓ pemc First Nation in Kamloops, B.C. announced the discovery of remains of more than 215 children buried at the site of what was once a residential school,” Stewart wrote. “As a district, we are horrified. We acknowledge this atrocity as a shameful part of our shared history. We recognize this news is devastating to Indigenous members of our community, causing pain, and a wide range of emotions. This tragedy is far reaching and is also impacting non-Indigenous members of our community.”

READ MORE: Residential school survivor calling for Canada-wide search of sites after remains of 215 children found

READ MORE: BC premier ‘horrified’ at discovery of remains at Kamloops residential school

Stewart also noted that this week Indigenous Edmonton Oilers player Ethan Bear took a stand against racism after receiving hurtful messages on social media, sparking an #IStandWithEthan movement online.

“In our school district, staff and students showed their solidarity by wearing jerseys with his name on it. As a district, we seek to listen, learn and support those who have been impacted by racism in our community.”

The stories combine to remind that as a society we have more to do, said Stewart.

As Anti-Racism Awareness week ends, National Indigenous History Month is about to begin in June, and National Indigenous Peoples Day is June 21.

“As part of our district’s Truth and Reconciliation journey and Anti-Racism commitment, we encourage everyone to do your own learning and recommend families connect with your children and engage in conversations,” Stewart said.

EducationLangleyracismresidential schools

Just Posted

Mosquito control contractors have been applying the bacterial larvicide by ground since late April. (Black Press files)
Pest control experts keeping mosquitoes at bay along the Fraser River

Bacterial larvicide has been used along the shores in Maple Ridge, Langley, and Pitt Meadows

Bella Jun claimed the prize for select female dog at the Westminster Dog Show. (Special to The Star)
Aldergrove breeder earns two top honours at Westminster dog show

Woodside’s German Shepherds, Arabella and Bella Jun, earned best in breed and select female

Langley City's economy is poised to enter a new phase when the SkyTrain line arrives in the downtown core. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Zumba, spin classes set to return soon in Langley City

B.C.’s restart plan means more rec offerings

Katy Mayrs, (L) last year’s winner of Langley Rotary’s first ever 50/50 Mega Draw, hopes to repeat her good luck as she buys a ticket on this year’s Langley Rotary 50/50 Mega Draw from Aldergrove Rotary’s Pauline Buck. (Special to The Star)
Lucky Langley lottery winner hopes to do it again

Tickets on sale now for Rotary Lottery 50/50 mega draw, which will be drawn on Aug. 18

Langley Township Fire Department provides not only fire fighting but also medical care. A local resident is grateful to firefighters for their medical care on two recent occasions. (Langley Township website screen capture)
LETTER: Langley Township firefighter care greatly appreciated

A North Langley resident wanted Township fire crews to know she’s grateful for their help

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

Audrey Inouye (right) with her two sons Kiyoshi McMillan (left) and Kaito McMillian drop off her milk to hospital volunteer Sylvia Hendel at a human milk depot on October 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Fraser Health appeals for breast milk after unexplained drop in donations

Give your breast milk and save newborn lives, the health authority is encouraging mothers

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

Most Read