Residential School Tragedy

Residential School Tragedy
Posted on 05/31/2021

May 31, 2021

Dear SMCDSB Community:

The Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board grieves with the families and communities of the 215 children whose remains were found at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, in the territory of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation. We also recognize how this tragedy will profoundly impact many people across our school board and region. SMCDSB stands with the Indigenous communities to honour the lives that were lost and to recognize the suffering and trauma caused by residential schools. 

The flags in our schools and board office locations will fly at half-mast this week to mourn this loss and to honour the legacy of all residential school victims and survivors across Canada. As we mourn these losses and as we enter into National Indigenous History month, we are reminded of the importance of Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. The Hope for Wellness Crisis Line is available 365 days a year to offer immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada, including residential school survivors and their families (Hope for Wellness Crisis Line at 1-855-242-3310 or Chat).  

Let us pray for all those impacted and for guidance on our path to truth and reconciliation. 

God of compassion, ever close to the broken-hearted,
we grieve, as a country and as a church,
as we contemplate the tragedies that unfolded
at the Kamloops Indian Residential School
and so many others like it across Canada.

You know each of us by name,
and you know and love
each of the 215 children whose graves were recently discovered.

Pour out your comfort
upon all the Indigenous families and communities
who are suffering pain because of these discoveries,

reopening old wounds and causing deep despair.

Help us, as a nation, to confront these dark areas of our history
with honesty and humility,
and to commit ourselves to the path
of true justice, healing and reconciliation.

We ask this through Christ, our Healer and our Hope.


Yours in Faith,

Frances Bagley

Director of Education