On May 27, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced the discovery of the bodies of 215 Indigenous Children at the former site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. This news is heartbreaking and horrifying, and is profoundly distressing for Indigenous people, especially Survivors and intergenerational Survivors.
Now is a time to listen to Indigenous voices, and to hear the profound pain, anger, and wisdom in those voices. The
lives of the Indigenous Children matter very much, and the voices of Indigenous People matter very much as we absorb
the full reality of this heartbreaking horror.
And so, first of all, I point you to three Indigenous voices:
The Honourable Murray Sinclair, former Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:
The Honourable Mary Jane McCallum, Senator and residential school Survivor:
Albert Dumont (Oshki Nodin) of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Ottawa Poet Laureate:
Secondly, I am asking all congregations in the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa to observe a time of silence during worship
services on Sunday, June 6, as follows:
Leader Let us now observe 215 seconds of respectful silence as we honour the Indigenous Children whose bodies were found in Kamloops, and whose lives matter very much:
Silence (215 seconds)
Leader Holy One, Creator of all that is, seen and unseen, of story and of song, of heartbeat and of
tears, of bodies, souls, voices and all relations: you are the God of all truth and the way of all
reconciliation. Breathe in us the grace to trust in your loving forgiveness, that we may face our
histories with courage. Guide us with holy wisdom to enter through the gates of remorse that
our feet may walk gently and firmly on the way of justice and healing. Amen.
May the bracing and challenging love of God be with us all as more stories of Indigenous Children who perished in
residential schools come to light.
The Right Reverend Shane Parker
June 2, 2021