In response to the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children at the site of the former Kamloops Residential School, we join with the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada in the following statement:
The CBWC joins with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc to mourn the deaths of the 215 children discovered in an unmarked mass grave at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
We pray for all Residential School Survivors and intergenerational survivors as this awakens afresh layers of trauma endured for generations.
These children were precious in the eyes of God. Their lives and the gifts that they had to offer were stolen from their communities and their families. We lament this irreplaceable loss, acknowledging and repenting of the ways that the Christian church enacted the state mandated policies of assimilation.
We know that lament is not enough and there is a need for just action as well. We are reminded of our commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which guides us as a framework for reconciliation and we call for renewed commitment to the TRC Calls to Action.
Today though, is the time to express sorrow and pledge again our solidarity with Indigenous peoples in Canada. We lament together. We stand with you.
Along with prayer… spend time with our indigenous friends and family as we have opportunity, to listen and truly hear them. Let us be present together and attend to the presence of the Lord, and seek His guidance, in Jesus' name.