Senator Murray Sinclair, the Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), once famously said of the residential school system: “It was education that got us into this mess, and education will get us out”.
The Diocese of Victoria has created a new page on its website with information about residential schools: https://www.rcdvictoria.org/residential-schools. This “Background for Catholics”, adapted with permission from material provided by the Archdiocese of Toronto, includes information on the history of the schools, the recent announcements of unmarked graves, the archives and apologies of Catholic dioceses and religious orders, and past and current financial reparations. You can also download all the information in a single PDF here.
Sharing this information is part of the Diocese’s response to the TRC’s Call to Action #59: to ensure that members of our Diocese learn about our Church's role in colonization, the history and legacy of residential schools, and why apologies to former residential school students, their families, and communities are necessary.
As we read and reflect on this information, we call to mind the closing words of the Canadian Catholic Indigenous Council’s Prayer for Tolerance, Forgiveness and Reconciliation:
O Creator, show us the way to healing,
forgiveness and reconciliation
and a renewed fellowship.