Statement on Discoveries of Unmarked Graves
Archives Society of Alberta’s Statement Regarding the Recent Findings of Unmarked Graves at Residential School System Sites
Archives Society of Alberta (ASA) is saddened to hear the news of the unmarked graves found at an increasing number of sites of Residential Schools across the country. Our Society would like to send its condolences to the survivors, families, and communities which have been harmed by this system.
In response to the recent findings, ASA would like to acknowledge that some of our members house and/or work with archival records which could provide information on the deaths of these children. We acknowledge that archives play a role in revealing truth and injustices and that information in archives can assist in healing for survivors and their families. Our Society supports the TRC Calls to Action, especially Call 70, as well as the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), as they apply to our profession and we encourage our members to adhere to those calls/statements. We urge our members to respectfully facilitate the uncovering of the truths of Canada’s colonial system by being transparent and accountable to survivors, their families, Indigenous communities and the public. It is our professional responsibility to disclose relevant records to Indigenous communities and others seeking access to those records.
We also recognize the heaviness involved for our members working with records regarding unmarked burial sites and in working with the users accessing those records. We empathize with members doing this difficult work.
A crisis line is available for those affected by the schools. The National Residential Schools Crisis Line is 1-866-925-4419 and is available 24 hours.