After the hugely disappointing, terribly disgusting and embarrassing discovery of the 215 children at the Kamloops residential schools (and counnting), individual people, organizations, and businesses have stood up to show their support and love for the families affected by it. Creating shrines, and showing love and support can often help people feel seen and acknowledged in the moment, but unfortunately doesn’t create accountability nor change for the future.
Apology from the Pope
At Kits House, we have very passionate staff that take an active approach to change, and we are here to support it. Our long-time staff member Faith, Community Service Coordinator, is on a quest to ask for help in sending 215,000 letters to the Pope of the Catholic church in an effort to help, support, and actively instill change for the Indigenous communities of Kamloops, British Columbia and Canada as a whole.
Letter to the Pope
Faith, and Kits House, encourage you to write your own letter to the Pope asking for:
A) a proper apology to the Indigenous peoples in person and,
B) the release of all documentations the Catholic church has in connection to this, without redaction.
If you don’t feel comfortable writing your own letter, please use this template below, created and edited by Faith and Kits House staff and board.
Dear Pope Francis:
I am writing with a heavy heart, deep sorrow, and immense disappointment that you, as head of the Catholic Church, were not able to extend a meaningful apology to the Indigenous people of Canada after the discovery of the 215 children found in unmarked graves on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian School and now in other residential school sites across Canada.
The discovery of these graves has been very triggering to those who suffered because of the Residential School system – many of which the Catholic Church oversaw. The recent response from the Church was disappointing.
The discovery of the Kamloops graves has shocked and gripped our country in sorrow and sadness as we all come to grips with the horror of what happened at that school and the damage done to families subjected to the residential school system. We think about and picture in our minds how awful it must have been for those children and their families. How horrible to have your child taken from you and to be powerless to protect them. And then your child never comes home…. and not knowing what happened to them. It was utterly devastating for these people.
The Canadian people’s hearts are breaking into a million pieces as we try to come to terms with this and feel only just a small amount of the trauma residential school survivors suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church in these institutions. This period in our history has been very shameful – currently I am not a proud Canadian.
Words matter. Action matters. While we cannot change the past, our country needs to heal as a nation from this, so we can move forward. We need your help to do this. This has gone on for far too long, please help us. I ask that you come to Canada, see the Kamloops Residential School, make a face-to-face apology to our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Kamloops, BC, and to the other Indigenous peoples of our nation as well.
In addition to an apology, making public any records the Church may have on the students who attended these schools would help with the healing. And help us find the families of those little children. Until this happens, we can’t move on. And sadly, I don’t think the Church can either.
The time to act is now!
Address of the Pope
Whether you send your own letter or use a copy of the one above, here is the address you can send it to:
c/o Nuncio of Canada
724 Manor Avenue
Rockcliffe Park, Ontario
Please help Faith reach her goal of sending 215,000 letters to the pope and share this with your networks. Find us on Instagram or Facebook to share our post to your personal pages and spread the word.