My thoughts are with members of the Kapawe’no First Nation who are dealing with the unspeakable pain and grief brought by the identification of 169 potential graves on the site of the former St. Bernard Mission in Grouard. Since the terrible news first broke, I have had the opportunity to speak with Chief Sydney Halcrow, and I am committed to doing whatever I can to help foster one-on-one dialogue and to walk beside the community in its journey of healing.

This heartbreaking development has opened fresh wounds, not just for the people of Kapawe’no First Nation, but for all those who live with the deep generational pain and the unfathomable damage caused by the residential school system. I know that my fellow Albertans understand how very deep these wounds are. I encourage everyone to play an active role in the essential, ongoing process of truth and reconciliation. By listening and learning with an open heart, and through respectful and open communication, we can chart a better path forward together.

As Her Majesty the Queen’s representative in Alberta, I offer my heartfelt wishes for healing and peace to the survivors among us, and to all those who continue to live with the generational trauma brought by residential schools. I also offer my deep gratitude to those among us who are working to foster the spirit of learning, compassion and reconciliation in our communities.

Her Honour, the Honourable Salma Lakhani AOE, B.Sc., LLD (hon), Lieutenant Governor of Alberta