It has been said that time heals all wounds. The truth is that time does not heal anything. It merely passes. It is what we do during the passing of time that helps or hinders the healing process.” Jay Marshall
The recent discovery of 215 unmarked graves near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School adds fresh agony to the decades of trauma endured by Canada’s Indigenous peoples at the hands of those charged with a responsibility of care towards them. The discovery shocked the nation, as well as countries around the world.
The Sisters of Saint Anne have a long history of commitment to the education of children everywhere, for their personal and spiritual development, their career opportunities, and their citizenship outreach. Years ago, with profound sorrow and regret, we came to realize that some of the teaching positions accepted by the Sisters of Saint Ann in British Columbia were destructive for the very children the Sisters intended to serve. These positions were at four “Indian Industrial Residential Schools.” Kamloops was one of them.
History now shows that the entire federal school system was conceived with racism and discrimination and was built on systemic violence to Indigenous families and culture. This is a moment of great darkness as we struggle to find a way forward together. We carry immense sorrow for having contributed to this tragedy, a sorrow that is lodged within our own hearts.
Press release from the Royal BC Museum, June 23, 2021.
Statement In Light of Discovery June 24, 2021