A time of mourning and prayer for residential school deaths

Sunday, June 27, 2021
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As you know, we began Indigenous History Month in June with the news of the horrific findings by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation of the remains of 215 Indigenous children buried at the former residential school site in Kamloops.

Throughout the month we’ve had more of these revelations, including learning this week that the Cowessess First Nation has found an estimated 751 unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Marieval residential school in Saskatchewan.

As we end this month and mark Canada Day, we find it necessary to take a moment to reflect on what this means for us as a Canadian partnership of churches and church-based agencies.

There are so many more stories, and so many more deaths. Sadly, those stories are not new ones for our brothers and sisters who have had to live them.

To mark a time of mourning and prayer for the thousands of Indigenous lives lost and those living with the ongoing effects of the trauma, we will be silent on our social media accounts this week.

We pray that our actions today, and in the future, are ones that reflect Christ’s love for all of humanity. We strive to honour our Indigenous brothers and sisters, remembering they bear the image of God, and to reflect on what we need to do to participate in the reconciliation we need in our nation.

If you are a survivor or a family member of a survivor and are experiencing trauma, you can access support by calling the Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419.

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