The Kamloops Indian Residential School and Truth and Reconciliation

Many of you have been asking questions about the Church’s acknowledgement of, and response to, the recent heartrending disclosure of unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
“If words of apology for such unspeakable deeds are to bring life and healing, they must be accompanied by tangible actions that foster the full disclosure of the truth.”
Archbishop J. Michael Miller
Below you will find links to the Archbishop’s recent statement of commitment, current and former apologies, actions, prayer and further information.

For the souls of all children who died in Residential Schools far from the comforting presence of the families, and for all those who mourn their tragic deaths: we pray they find comfort and peace in the presence of our loving Lord and Saviour.

Archbishop Miller’s Expression of Commitment  – June 2, 2021
Acknowledgement, apology, commitment to action

Kamloops Bishop Joseph Nguyen’s Letter Apology and Commitment – June 3, 2021

Apology, Commitment and connection

Frequent Questions & Answers

  • I am deeply troubled by the discovery of children’s remains in Kamloops on the site of a former Indian Residential School. Who operated the school?
  • Have records been provided to Indigenous groups?
  • Did the Archdiocese have previous knowledge of these unmarked graves? Are there others that are known? Why have previous attempts not been made to return these children to their home communities?
  • What did children in Indian Residential Schools die from?
  • If this school cemetery was known about, why is everyone talking as if it is a new discovery?
  • Why has the Archdiocese of Vancouver not apologized? Has the Pope ever apologized?
  • What actions did the Archbishop pledge to Indigenous Peoples?
  • Did the Catholic Church participate in the forcible removal of children from their families?
  • How can lay people get involved with reconciliation efforts? Have they been involved in these efforts in the past?
  • What can my parish community do?
  • Has the Archdiocese of Vancouver provided financial reparations to Residential School survivors? What will it do in the future?

 

Archbishop’s 2013 apology to Venerable Elders, Survivors of the Indian Residential Schools, First Nations Brothers and Sisters

Archbishop’s 2015 apology to Venerable Elders, Survivors of the Indian Residential Schools, First Nations Brothers and Sisters

Statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

B.C. Catholic coverage:

“We recognize that there is so much work remaining to be done, yet we hope that, if we persevere in these commitments with humility, we can restore the trust among us that will bring healing.”
– Archbishop J. Michael Miller

Superintendent Deacon Henk Luyten has also written a letter to all our Catholic schools.  You can read it HERE.