Lights illuminate shoes and stuffed toys outside of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School June 6, 2021. CNS photo/Jennifer Gauthier, Reuters

Bishops mark Kamloops anniversary

  • May 25, 2022

Like millions of Canadians who came to see their history in a new light, Canada’s Catholic bishops were galvanized and spurred to action by the discovery of graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School one year ago.

“Over the last year, the Catholic Church’s reconciliation efforts have been galvanized by the reports from Kamloops, and elsewhere across the country,” the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a statement marking the anniversary of the Kamloops discovery. “With humility, we have sought to undertake the necessary steps to meaningfully accompany Indigenous peoples on the long journey towards healing and reconciliation.”

The May 23 CCCB statement links the Kamloops discoveries of over 200 probable gravesites to the bishops’ decision in September to issue a unanimous apology from every bishop and to arrange for delegations of Indigenous elders, leaders and residential school survivors to meet with Pope Francis in Rome. In April Pope Francis issued his own apology after hearing from survivors.

“This journey is far from over and Canada’s Catholic bishops recognize we must continue to walk in solidarity with the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples of this land,” the bishops said.

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