Kamloops This Week contacted both the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kamloops and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, of which the Kamloops Diocese is a suffragan.
KTW was seeking interviews with Kamloops Bishop Joseph Nguyen and Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller to ask what response, in words and actions, the Church had following Thursday’s (May 27) revelation by Tk’emlups te Secwépemc that the remains of 215 children of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School had been found by ground-penetrating radar.
The Kamloops Indian Residential School was opened in 1890 and closed in 1977 and was under Roman Catholic administration.
Both the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kamloops and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver emailed statements to KTW.
“I humbly join so many who are heartbroken and horrified concerning the news report of the discovery of the remains of 215 children found at the former residential school,” Nguyen said.
“On behalf of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kamloops, I express my deepest sympathy to Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc Nation and to all who are mourning this tragedy and an unspeakable loss. No words of sorrow could adequately describe this horrific discovery. Along with the people of the Diocese of Kamloops, I offer assurance of my personal support, prayers and accompaniment to our First Nations community in Kamloops and beyond.”
The statement from Miller reads:
"I am filled with deep sadness at the troubling news about the 215 children found buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. 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.
“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."