June 1, 2021

CCCB Statement Regarding Discovery at Former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Monday, May 31, 2021

Today, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) published a statement following the report of a recent discovery of children's graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation.

Statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops following the recent discovery at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc 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

31 May 2021



Statement For Media Release,

May 30, 2021

Regarding news from the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Nation (Kamloops Indian Band) of the discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.


On behalf of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, I wish to express my heartfelt sadness and sincere regret for the deep pain and distress the discovery of the remains of children buried on the grounds of Kamloops Indian Residential School brings to the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, and other affected indigenous communities, especially family members of the deceased. I appreciate the sensitive and respectful way in which this difficult work is being carried out. This heart-breaking discovery brings the tragedy of the residential school system into the light once again and demands that we continue to confront its legacy.

The Missionary Oblates were administrators and teachers at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Through our own ongoing reflection, and the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we are growing into a deepening awareness of the damage caused to indigenous peoples, the enduring harm caused by colonization and the part our religious order played in it through the residential school system.

This growing awareness leads us to an increased desire to listen deeply and learn from indigenous communities where Oblates continue to live and minister. The Oblates remain committed to humbly participating in ongoing efforts towards reconciliation and healing for our role in this painful part of our shared history.


Fr. Ken Thorson, OMI

Provincial OMI Lacombe Canada, Ottawa


Statement of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress on discovery of remains of 215 Missing Children of the Kamloops Residential School

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) and the Ukrainian Canadian community join the First Nations of Canada and all Canadians in mourning the memory of the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were recently discovered on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

The announcement of the confirmation of the mass grave was made by Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir on May 27. Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc is the home community of the Kamloops Indian Residential School which was the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system.

Many Indigenous children who were sent to residential schools never returned to their home communities. Some ran away and others died at the schools. The students who did not return have come to be known as the Missing Children. The Missing Children Project documents the deaths and the burial places of children who died while attending the schools. To date, more than 4,100 children who died while attending a residential school have been identified.

These innocent lives were taken as a result of a racist and discriminatory policy of removing Indigenous children from their homes and forcing them into Residential Schools. Many of us are parents. All of us are someone's children. It is impossible to comprehend the pain and suffering that was endured by thousands of children, parents, and grandparents who had their families torn apart by the callousness and cruelty of this government policy.

The discovery of the grave of 215 children on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School is a stark reminder of this shameful era in Canadian history. It is a reminder of our collective responsibility, and the need for unity, understanding and empathy in addressing the horrible trauma suffered by the First Nations, Métis Nation, and Inuit communities of Canada.

On Monday May 31 we are encouraging our community and all those who can, to wear an orange shirt to join many expressing support of Residential School survivors and the humanitarian principle that every child matters.

May the Memory of the Victims Be Eternal. Вічная Пам'ять.

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