June 2, 2021

Our sadness for the 215 Indigenous children discovered buried in Kamloops

A message from the Faith and Spirituality Centre

At the Faith and Spiritual Centre, we were heartbroken to hear the news that 215 Indigenous children were found buried outside of a residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia.

We join the rest of the UCalgary community, and all Canadians, in mourning the loss of these young lives, of the many beautiful hopes and dreams that never had the chance to be realized. We also grieve for the families and community of these children, and children not yet found, who are still experiencing the trauma from residential schools.

The Faith and Spiritualty Centre serves students from many faith backgrounds but, today, we come together to collectively stand beside those feeling so much pain in our Indigenous communities.

In their final slumber, these children woke a nation – but we cannot let the shared sadness we are feeling in this moment slip away over time and once again be carried only by our Indigenous communities. Regardless of faith, region, or heritage, this is all of our history as Canadians – and all of our story going forward. It is all of our responsibility. As a shared space for many faiths and perspectives, we know we have an important part to play. We vow to remember these children and to play our own unique part in ensuring this moment sparks long-term change.

Our centre is built on the concept of pluralism, which is rooted in careful listening, respecting different ways of thinking and living, and making the world better through reflection, engagement, and action. We commit to working with the faith leaders in our centre and Indigenous members of our UCalgary community to help build awareness of our history, respect and understanding of Indigenous ways, and a path forward that sees Indigenous peoples in a place of strength and self-determination.

If you have any feedback, suggestions or would like to have a conversation about how the Faith and Spirituality Centre can help in the work of truth and reconciliation, please email interfaith@ucalgary.ca or contact one of our faith representatives.