In Canada the month of June has been full of heartbreaking news.
The discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children and 751 Indigenous children in two unmarked grave sites at two former Indian Residential Schools has revealed to Canadians a tragic and sad piece of our history. More than 200 such schools were set up where Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their families and sent to distant boarding schools to be stripped of their culture and language. The federal government of Canada did so in order to eliminate the Indigenous peoples from this land during the early years of Canada’s development.
The two sites are in two provinces of Canada: British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Click on this 1.24-minute video to learn more:
We are so sorry for the pain and trauma caused by these events and for the ongoing systemic oppressions in which they are rooted.
While we grieve, we are resolving to take action and live our solidarity. Please pray with us for justice and reconciliation.
We, who are non-indigenous in this land that was taken away from our First Nations Peoples, are taking steps to cooperate with the 94 resolutions that Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission set out in 2015. We have so much work to do to promote transformation on all levels of society so that present and future generations are honored and healed.
Many Roman Catholic, Anglican and Methodist churches operated Indian Residential Schools. Across Canada, many bishops of these churches are leading efforts to take restorative actions in their dioceses to ensure that the 634 First Nations Tribes will be compensated and receive justice. People of other religious traditions and cultures are participating in actions of compensation and justice also. Listening to the TRUTH is the process that Canada is going through now.
Sisters of Sion are in solidarity with our local bishops in prayer, in listening to our many Indigenous friends who grieve. We are promoting education to help the healing of more than six generations of families.
Pray with us for courage and honesty as we walk together on this painful and hopeful road toward justice.
Sent by Sylvia Obrig, NDS, for Sion Canada-US Region Social Justice Team, June 27, 2021