SNAP reacts to discovery of a mass grave on the grounds of a school run for decades by the Catholic Church in Canada
In a development reminiscent of the mass grave found at a Catholic care home in Ireland, the bodies of over 200 children were found buried on the property that once housed the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Western Canada. The school was opened by the Catholic Church in the late 19th century and run by it until the government took over in the late 1960s. We are grief-stricken to learn about this tragic discovery.
In 2015, Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued a detailed report of the horrific legacy of the country's residential school system. Tens of thousands of primarily indigenous children were separated from their families and forced to attend these facilities. The commission report determined that at least 4,000 children died of illness, neglect, accident, and abuse while attending these schools.
SNAP stands behind Canadian residential survivors. We recognize them and thank them for their courage in bringing this terrible history to light. Because of their perseverance and determination, these brave victims paved the way for others to speak out.
We call on secular authorities to force Catholic officials to release all the information on abuse and deaths in residential schools in Canada. These atrocities deserve answers and survivors and their families deserve justice.
SNAP has a volunteer leader on the ground in the Vancouver area who provides survivor support both personally and through a monthly virtual support group. Please contact Leona Huggins (604-240- 3741, [email protected]) for help.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)