This week, the Federal Government published its report on the recommendations of the Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. While this is important and necessary, it is overshadowed by the recent findings that 215 Indigenous children were buried in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation. The pain and loss all First Nations people in Canada are feeling following the news of these findings is immeasurable.
I express my deep regret, shame, and sorrow to you, all Indigenous Peoples of Canada. As genuine and simple as these words are, I understand that they ring hollow if not acted on appropriately. Our, and your, consolation is that truth can lead to reconciliation and healing. This truth, now brought to light, challenges us to seek ways to reconcile our hurtful past, with our present, in hopes for a brighter future – a tomorrow that will move us from this time of brokenness to building a new way to be trusted as worthy servants of ‘The Great Spirit’ who is God to all of us.
Our diocese will come together regularly, and, I hope, with some of you among us, to continue to fulfill the Calls to Action laid out for us by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; that is, to find ways of healing our regrettable past and your painful history.
+ Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R.
Bishop of Pembroke