Our hearts ache in response to reports of the discovery of a mass grave holding the remains of 215 Indigenous children on the grounds of a First Nations Residential School in Kamloops.How will we respond? Inshallah, a choir I have sung with recently recorded the song: Senzenina. “What have we done?”https://youtu.be/yHjpeRyZaWA
May this be our prayer… and may our lament and song move us to action.Perhaps you have hung an orange shirt in front of your home as I have.Perhaps you will add your voice to those calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Government of Canada to recognize a national day of mourning. ..Perhaps you will consider a donation to support Residential School survivors and their families or a local Indigenous Centre such as the Seven Generation or Anishinaabe Outreach Centre. Here are several links with information
- Indian Residential School Survivors Society
- Legacy of Hope Foundation
- Woodland Cultural Centre’s Save the Evidence campaign
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- First Nations Child & Family Caring Society
- Reconciliation Canada
- Native Women’s Association of Canada
- Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
Perhaps you will want to learn more. Here are some educational resources on residential schools:
- Settlers Take Action resources compiled by the On Canada Project
- Read about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and its 94 Calls to Action.
- Yellowhead Institute – Calls to Action Accountability: A 2020 Status Update on Reconciliation
- Sign up for Indigenous Canada, a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada.
Following in the footsteps of Jesus involves responding to injustices. Congregationally, we adopted a Land Acknowledgement Statement, engaged in a “Blanket Exercise” led by MCC and Kairos. We have read Indigenous authors…. What next steps is the Spirit of God inviting us to take. May we listen deeply for the Spirit and pray for courage and grace to respond with healing and hope.