Statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops following the recent discovery of 215 bodies of Native children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. The Kamloops Indian Residential School was in operation from 1890 to 1969, when the federal government took over administration from the Catholic Church to operate it as a residence for a day school, until closing in 1978. Investigations continue.
FULL TEXT below:
First Nation On behalf of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), I express our deepest sorrow for the heartrending loss of the children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation. The news of the recent discovery is shocking. It rekindles trauma in numerous communities across this land. Honouring the dignity of the lost little ones demands that the truth be brought to light. This tragedy profoundly impacts Indigenous communities, with whom many people across this land and throughout the world now stand in solidarity. As we see ever more clearly the pain and suffering of the past, the Bishops of Canada pledge to continue walking side by side with Indigenous Peoples in the present, seeking greater healing and reconciliation for the future. We lift up prayers to the Lord for the children who have lost their lives and pledge our close accompaniment of Indigenous families and communities.
May our Creator God bless all of us with consolation and hope.
+ Richard Gagnon Archbishop of Winnipeg and
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops