A Pastoral Letter in Support of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, Kamloops - Salvation Army Canada

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    A Pastoral Letter in Support of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, Kamloops

    Commissioner Floyd Tidd invites Salvationists to seek truth and reconciliation. May 31, 2021 by Commissioner Floyd Tidd
    Filed Under:
    Territorial News
    Commissioner Floyd Tidd
    Commissioner Floyd Tidd
    Dear Salvationist friends,

    It is with a sad and heavy heart that I write to you today. The legacy of the residential school system is a source of national shame, and it continues to cast a long shadow. We are becoming increasingly aware of the terrible abuses, deprivation and injustice that were perpetrated on Indigenous children and their families in Indian Residential Schools. And yet, the new revelations never cease to shock us. This past week, we learned the fate of 215 Indigenous children, discovered in a mass grave at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

    We know that this new information will be traumatic for many residential school survivors and their families. As Salvationists, we acknowledge this tragedy and sensitively pray for everyone who has been affected, particularly the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation of Kamloops. Our hearts are broken as we grieve for the children and their families. Most of us will never fully understand the terrible abuse that they endured, but we “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15) and pray that God will “[heal] the brokenhearted and [bind] up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

    We have seen the memorials comprised of 215 pairs of children’s shoes on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery and Queen’s Park in Toronto, stark reminders of the staggering number of lives lost. Each child had a story, a family and a future that was sadly extinguished.

    The devastating effects of the residential schools are far-reaching and continue to have a significant impact on Indigenous communities to this day. The Salvation Army stands in solidarity with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We all have a responsibility to seek justice and pray for healing for those who suffered so much. We look to the example of Christ, who compels us to reach out in love.

    As a show of respect for the lives that were lost, we invite Salvation Army centres to lower their Canadian flags to half-mast for 215 hours. We also encourage you to educate your employees and congregations about the residential schools and observe a moment of silence at 2:15 p.m. one day this week.

    The Bible calls us to the “ministry of reconciliation,” just as we ourselves were reconciled to God through Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:18). May we continue to journey with our Indigenous brothers and sisters, to listen and empathize, to respect and love, to commit together to seek truth and reconciliation.

    Yours in Christ,

    Commissioner Floyd Tidd


    Click here to download a copy of Commissioner Tidd's letter.

    Comment

    On Saturday, June 5, 2021, Marianne Willars said:

    May God grace our world leaders and all humans across worldwide, with Light and Love in their hearts and minds. It begins by healing here and now, on earth. This continued repeated history of killing humans (genocide), animals and nature (trees/plants/waters/air) at best is still ongoing. Truth can be found with God's Love. May you all be blessed with this knowing. Thank you for continuing to educate people on a global level.

     

    On Friday, June 4, 2021, Margaret LePoidevin said:

    Thank you Commissioner for sharing these very important thoughts with Salvationists throughout this vast land of ours. My heart breaks for these precious little lives that were torn from the arms of their mothers and subjected to the atrocities that they experienced. Our wonderful Corps Officers at Scarborough Citadel have shared these thoughts with us also. We are also in prayer for the families that have been affected and are in such anguish over such dreadful news.

     

    On Friday, June 4, 2021, Nancy Mulroy said:

    This will have an effect on all for many generations to come. We need to be the change..or nothing will change. Except we be moved with compassion. Praying for all

     

    On Friday, June 4, 2021, John P Bell said:

    Lowering the flag and apology’s mean nothing if our Canadian Leaders don’t do the right things and do everything absolutely possible to open the records and connect the children to their clans, bring the truth and full reconciliation to fruition quickly

     

    On Friday, June 4, 2021, Dianne Hill said:

    A friend of mine wrote the lyrics and music https://www.facebook.com/541002422/posts/10158107124022423/

     

    On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, Shibu Abraham said:

    Horrible and shocking incident. 215 innocent children perished. God only knows what really had happened with each child. Let the fact come out and the people who were involved in this chatastrophy should face judgement, if not in earth but before God...my prayers are with the families who lost their dear ones.

     

    On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, Shibu Abraham said:

    Horrible and shocking incident. 215 innocent children perished. God only knows what really had happened with each child. Let the fact come out and the people who were involved in this chatastrophy should face judgement, if not in earth but before God...my prayers are with the families who lost their dear ones.

     

    On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, Joyce Trudeau said:

    So sorry to hear about this tragedy in Canada..my prayers are with all the families that have to go through this..May God's peace and Healing be felt as you grieve..We are grieving with you...

     

    On Monday, May 31, 2021, Natalia DeBoer DeBoer said:

    Much prayer

     

    On Monday, May 31, 2021, Verna said:

    My grand uncle Jerry Gunanoot previous Nii kyep , deceased, my uncle Fred Lincoln, my auntie Miriam Good. Reminders of the horrible pains inflicted and how it impacts us after the fact and called it intergenerational trauma. They never mentioned about their experiences of residential school traumas, nor mentioned that they did attend residential school. I understand now why we are impacted even tho we were not at those schools, 1 am impacted intergenerationally. I share the pain of all those children's family who did not know what happened to their missing children, and never returned home to their families.

     

    On Monday, May 31, 2021, James Read said:

    My wife Laurie and I are grateful for this word of solidarity. It is beyond our reckoning how such profound disregard could have been thought to be acceptable to the consciences of the Christians who ran the Kamloops school. We trust that the discovery and disclosure will be a wake-up call to our own consciences. The dehumanizing of others does not belong only to previous eras.

     

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