Kamloops bishop apologizes to families, communities affected by residential schools | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops bishop apologizes to families, communities affected by residential schools

June 14, 2021 - 1:00 PM

Bishop Joseph Nguyen of the Kamloops Roman Catholic Diocese issued an apology to families and communities affected by the Kamloops Indian Residential School on Thursday.

"I wish to, again, offer my heartfelt apology to all who have been affected by this horrific report and wish to express my closeness to you at this painful time," Nguyen said in a video recorded statement posted to Youtube on June 10.

Since the burial site at the former school was discovered and preliminary findings were made public on May 27, there have been calls from residents, Indigenous leaders and even the prime minister for the Roman Catholic church to officially apologize for the abuses endured by Indigenous children at Canada's former residential schools.

READ MORE: Should old residential schools stay in use? Local Indigenous leaders offer insight

"As we continue to pray for the souls of these beloved children, their families and communities, I want you to know that we are here for you," Nguyen said. "We want to walk together with you and, more importantly, we want to work together with first nations communities toward healing, reconciliation and peace."

His message reflected similar commitments from Vancouver Archbishop Michael Miller.

The Archbishop of the Vancouver Archdiocese offered an apology on June 2 through his Twitter account.

READ MORE: 'The Church was unquestionably wrong': Vancouver Archbishop issues apology

Miller also called upon all Catholic diocese and government organizations to offer full transparency will their archives and records relating to residential schools.

Both statements follow shorter statements that were emailed to iNFOnews.ca on May 28.

While the bishop and archbishop have offered their apologies, Canadians continue to call upon the Pope to offer a formal apology to Indigenous communities on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church for their role in Canadian residential schools.

READ MORE: Settlement reached on residential school 'day scholars' class-action lawsuit

—With files from the Canadian Press.


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