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Catholic World News

Canadian dioceses sign covenant with Native American group

April 02, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: The Archdiocese of Vancouver and the Diocese of Kamloops, British Columbia, have signed a covenant with members of the Tkʼemlúps te Secwépemc band, near the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, operated from 1892 to 1969 by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

“The Covenant outlines practical commitments, including honoring and memorializing residential school students, facilitating access to historical records, and retaining scientific expertise to support the Nation’s efforts in uncovering the truth and promoting healing,” the Tkʼemlúps te Secwépemc stated, three years after unconfirmed reports of mass graves there.

The residential school system—to the Canadian government consigned indigenous children—“did great damage to indigenous people, as well as their language, customs, and traditions,” said Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver. “We recognize our part in the resulting tragedies and the desire to journey with the people of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc on a path to healing and understanding.”

Archbishop Miller said that he and the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc discovered they had a mutual admiration for some of the Oblate priests who ministered in the area in the nineteenth century. “We see in those early missionary priests a faithful implementation of Catholic teaching, which supported the rights and freedoms of indigenous people,” he said.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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