From The Pastor’s Pen – By Brian Horrobin
It was with great shock and sadness that the news came out last week of the discovery of the remains of 215 children buried at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School near Kamloops, B.C.
It is believed that the missing children are undocumented deaths, some as young as three years old.
The school ran from 1890 until 1969.
“That this situation exists is sadly not a surprise and illustrates the damaging and lasting impacts that the residential school system continues to have on First Nations people, their families, and communities,” First Nations Health Authority CEO Richard Jock stated.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs also weighed in on the finding: “There are no words to express the deep mourning that we feel as First Nations people, and as survivors, when we hear an announcement like this. Today we honour the lives of those children, and hold prayers that they, and their families, may finally be at peace.”
It is disgraceful that the atrocities committed at residential schools were done by “the church”, something which besmirches the holy name of Jesus.
A sad fact of history is that throughout the generations many of Christ’s followers have not represented Him well in their treatment of others who, like them, are created in God’s image.
Jesus Christ is Lord of ALL nations and every life is valuable and precious to Him.
Psalm 139:13-14 says it so well: “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
It is so important that we do not just move on quickly from something like this.
We must learn from it, yes, but we must also then take appropriate action through prayers for indigenous Canadians, showing kindness and hospitality where that opportunity presents itself, and lobbying government officials to do what they can to address injustices.
EVERY child matters!