Tk̓emlúps ‘disturbed’ by vandalism of church building near Church-run school in Canada

By the next day the graffiti had largely been cleaned off, Kamloops This Week reported.

The residential school in Kamloops operated from 1890 until 1978. The school was administered by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate from 1893 until 1969, when the Canadian government took control of the school again. At that point, the school building operated as a residence for First Nations children who were attending area day schools. The residence was closed in 1978.

The Kamloops school was at one point the largest school in the entire residential school system, which was established in Canada beginning in the 1870s and was overseen by the Catholic Church and Protestant ecclesial communities. The last operating residential school closed in 1996.

A Truth and Reconciliation Commission which operated from 2008 until 2015 reported on a history of abuses in the system. Children from First Nations and other indigenous communities were separated from their families and placed in the residential schools as a means of forcible assimilation and enculturation. An estimated 4,100 to 6,000 First Nations and other indigenous children died as a result of neglect or abuse in the system, the commission found.

One of the calls of the commission was for a papal apology “to Survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools.”

In a 2017 meeting with the pope, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invited Pope Francis to visit Canada and apologize for the treatment ofiIndigenous children in the schools.

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