CANADIAN UNITARIANS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice is a national, faith-based organization that advocates for peace and justice in Canada and in the world.
STATEMENT 2021 09 25
We were very troubled and saddened by the revelation of 215 unmarked graves at the site of what was once the Kamloops Residential School near Kamloops, British Columbia, and by the subsequent identification of hundreds of more unmarked graves across Canada using radar technology. We acknowledge that we have known about these unmarked graves since stories of them were reported over and over in the TRC hearings. The Residential School survivors are in our thoughts and prayers as they identify the missing children and give them proper recognition.
In 2014, The Canadian Unitarian Council and the Unitarian Universalist Ministers of Canada delivered an Expression of Truth and Reconciliation in which they committed to the journey of healing and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. Our Unitarian values are founded on the principles of the inherent worth and dignity of every person and justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
In this spirit, we deplore the racist values and policies of past Canadian Governments that sanctioned the creation of residential schools for Indigenous children. Parents were forced by law to send their children to these schools for at least ten months of the year. There they suffered physical, emotional and sexual abuse and lost their connection to their families, culture and language. In addition, their health needs were neglected and many children died as a result. Several generations of survivors were deeply affected by and never recovered from the trauma that they experienced at these schools.
Therefore, it is as a gesture of reconciliation that we are sending a donation of $500 to the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. This organization advocates tirelessly for the right to equal and just treatment for Indigenous children.
Sally Palmer Woods,
Secretary to the Board,
Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice