Statement from St. Stephen's College on the Kamloops Residential School Burial Site

With profound sadness, the world learned late last week of the mass, unmarked grave beneath the former Kamloops Residential School, where 215 children were buried. The hearts of all within the St. Stephen’s community break from this tragedy. We stand silently to acknowledge and to grieve the loss of these innocent children. And we confront—once again—the terrible acts of cruelty and evil that were perpetuated by the residential school system.

To remember these 215 children—as well as the countless other victims of the residential school system—is to commit ourselves once again to confronting Canada’s ugly past and to foster truthful dialogue and reconciliation.

Over the past days, there have been many responses and expressions of pain, sorrow, anger, grief, and determination in response to the mass burial site in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc. Among these many expressions, the St. Stephen’s community is encouraged to read the Letter to the University of Alberta Community Regarding the Kamloops Residential School Burial Site (written by Dr. Florence Glanfield, Vice-Provost, Indigenous Programming and Research), as well as the Prayer for the Students of the Kamloops Residential School (written by the Right Rev. Dr. Richard Bott, Moderator of the United Church of Canada; an excerpt of this prayer is below).

O Creator,
Help us to stop, to sit in silence.
to remember the names we do not know.
May their spirits have peace,
and their bodies be brought home to their lands.