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News: Sunday, May 30th, 2021

A Message from Superintendent Godden

Dear Abbotsford School District Families, Students and Staff,

Flags across our district will be flown at half-mast until June 7 in honour of the 215 children whose remains were discovered in a mass unmarked grave in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc in Kamloops, BC. Tomorrow, all sites will take a moment of silence at 9:30AM to honour the lives lost, and we encourage you to wear orange to show that #EveryChildMatters. We extend our sympathies and hearts to the survivors, families and Indigenous communities affected by this unspeakable discovery.

This horrific tragedy will serve as a difficult reminder for survivors of residential schools and their families, and a reminder of the hurt and intergenerational trauma they have endured. We will continue to care for our staff, students, and families in need of our support or resources.

There cannot be reconciliation without truth and understanding. While conversations around the history and impact of residential schools are taking place within our schools, we encourage you to continue the learning at home with your family.

During times like this, our children may also need caring adults to help them process the discourse related to this event. If you or your child require ongoing support outside of school, the following agencies are recommended mental health resources:

  • START – In an immediate mental health crisis, START is available to consult with caregivers over the phone at 1-844-782-7811.
  • Abbotsford Child & Youth Mental Health – Visit their website or call 604-870-5880.
  • Abbotsford Hospice Society – Visit their website or call 604-852-2456.
  • Foundry – Visit their website or call 604-746-3392. Foundry is now offering virtual drop-in counselling sessions.

As a public education institution, the Abbotsford School District remains committed to revealing and correcting miseducation around the shameful legacy of residential schools and the ongoing need for Truth and Reconciliation. As The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, once said, “Education got us into this mess and education will get us out of it.”

We are grateful to the Elders, Leaders and families from the Sumas First Nation, Matsqui First Nation, the Fraser Valley Metis Association, Indigenous students and their families who continuously share their voice and their stories with our staff and students, and provide their counsel in relation to our programs and services.

Moving forward, we will be reaching out to our counsellors and District-based staff to prepare them with more tools to help support students and staff. We must all continue to take care of each other.

Sincerely, 

Dr. Kevin Godden
Superintendent of Schools


Media Contact:

Kayla Stuckart, Manager of Communications
Phone: (604) 859 – 4891 ext. 1206
Email: kayla.stuckart@abbyschools.ca