The Oblate Congregation is deeply saddened at the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children, on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Colombia, Canada. This school was administered by our Congregation from 1893 to 1969. The OMI Lacombe Province continues to work alongside the Indigenous Peoples in many parts of Canada today.
In 1991, the Oblates of Canada made a public apology to Indigenous Peoples for the role that the Oblates played in the residential school system. In that apology the Oblates committed themselves to “an effective process of disclosure vis-a-vis Residential Schools.” The Oblates have worked to live up to this commitment and they are prepared to do more.
We hold the Indigenous Peoples of Canada in our prayer, especially the former students of the residential schools and their families. We hold sacred the memory of the children who did not return home and who died at the schools, far from the security and comfort of their parents and communities.