It is difficult to find words up to the task of revealing what lies within. Obviously it’s been a time of tragedy around the world with covid deaths, violence and injustice. I look for light wherever I can find it. However, that does not include turning away from the terrible news out of British Columbia, Canada.
Through the use of radar that penetrates the ground, the graves of 215 indigenous children have been found on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. This school was one of over 130 residential schools across Canada. They were sponsored by the federal government and run by a variety of churches. This one was administered by the Catholic Church from 1890 to 1969 when the government took over the operation of the school.
Between the mid 1800s and 1996 when the last residential school closed, indigenous children aged 4 – 16 were forceably removed from their homes and sent to Indian residential schools. The idea was to assimilate them, to destroy their indigenous identity. Many of the survivors of these schools report being horribly abused in them. Children died at these schools, though not all their deaths were reported. The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission reported that large numbers of Indigenous children never returned home from residential schools.
If there is any good to come out of this tragic news, it’s that truth is coming to light. Let that truth lead to action beyond words to right the lethal injustices to indigenous people that are still present in Canada today.