By Letter to the Editor on June 4, 2021.
In 2019, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, in conjunction with the Aboriginal People’s Television Network, unveiled a national memorial register with 2,800 names of residential school victims. It is believed that over 6,000 children died in these schools.
The heartbreaking discovery of 215 unmarked graves of Indigenous children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School last week is the first exposure of this kind and will be a catalyst that will lead to the discovery of more unmarked graves.
The families that suffered through this systemic racism and cultural destruction deserve to have the closure that comes with knowing what happened to their loved ones.
The Roman Catholic Church operated this school and two-thirds of all residential schools in Canada. These children were abused and died at the hands of priests and nuns. The abuse of their authority destroyed families. How could they deliberately and unceremoniously bury children to cover up their cruelty?
The Roman Catholic Church should admit responsibility for the death and destruction they caused. When the children are identified, the Church should provide the families with a burial ceremony of their choice, interment and a personal apology for each child.
The residential school system almost destroyed the Indigenous people of Canada, but it hasn’t.