BY ARCHBISHOP LINDA NICHOLLS ON JUNE 2, 2021
Last week the Chief of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation revealed news of the discovery of the bodies of 215 children at the site of an unmarked burial ground at a former residential school near Kamloops, B.C. The identities of the children are unknown at this time. The grief of families and communities unleashed by this news is heartwrenching and profound.
There have long been stories told in Indigenous communities of children who disappeared or never returned home from residential school and whose parents were never told what had happened or given the opportunity to receive their bodies for community ceremony. Whether the deaths were due to illnesses, abuse or neglect, the lack of dignity offered to these children by an anonymous burial far from their family or community is tragic and unacceptable. Please click here for the full letter.