The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board joins with communities across Canada in honouring and praying for the 215 Indigenous children whose bodies were discovered on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Tk-emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation territory.
We offer our prayers for the repose of the souls and in memory of the 215 residential school victims. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Sorrows, comfort all who are touched by this heartbreaking tragedy. We humbly recognize the ongoing need for truth and reconciliation.
"The pain that such news causes reminds us of our ongoing need to bring to light every tragic situation that occurred in residential schools run by the Church,” said The Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. “The passage of time does not erase the suffering that touches the Indigenous communities affected, and we pledge to do whatever we can to heal that suffering."
To honour their lives, flags at all HWCDSB schools and board buildings will be lowered for nine days (May 31-June 8) – a total of 215 hours to represent each of the 215 children.
"There are no words to express the deep mourning that we feel as First Nations people, and as survivors, when we hear an announcement like this," said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), in response to the discovery.
"We honour the lives of those children, and hold prayers that they, and their families, may finally be at peace."