A Prayer for the Uncovering of Graves in Kamloops

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The remains of 215 children have been uncovered on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.  We mourn this latest revealing of the impacts of colonization and our pressing need as Canadians to hold our government accountable to the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with particular emphasis on Calls 71-76.  Please use this prayer (PDF below or video) in your personal prayers and in your collective worship services.

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation has asked all people in Canada to “acquaint themselves” with the TRC Calls to Action and final report(s). CRC ministries, through our Justice and Reconciliation team, will continue the long journey of reconciliation in commitments to the Calls to Action. As we mark this important national moment, in Indigenous History month, and just in advance of National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) we encourage congregations and members to join us in prayer and action as one of many needed steps on the journey of justice and reconciliation. This is prayer and work for today, tomorrow and must continue in faithfulness for what the TRC called a long-term journey. (see below for resources for prayer and action.)

Resources for Prayer and Action:

Here is a short list of next steps that you and/or your congregation could take as a means of responding to this situation:

  • Read the Statement from the Office of the Chief, Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation (Kamloops Indian Band).

  • Attend a vigil in your local community. Leave your prayers with a teddy bear or shoes at a memorial site where others have gathered to remember the children. After attending, find one more faithful step to take.

  • Educate yourself on some of the CRCNA’s involvement in Indigenous justice. Find a network article here and visit the Indigenous Ministry website here.

  • As the TRC has reminded us, this horror in Kamloops is not an isolated incident. Take the time to learn about residential school histories in your community and region. Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and encourage others to do the same. Encourage your leaders to implement the Calls to Action, and especially #71-76. Explore CBC’s Beyond 94 website to view the progress tracking of the Calls to Action.

  • Attend or host a Kairos Blanket Exercise.  See this Network post for more information or  Contact [email protected]  and we can connect you with facilitators

  • Join a Hearts Exchanged Cohort. Cohorts being held in each classis in Canada, starting in Fall 2021. It is an eight month learning and action journey designed to equip Reformed Christians to engage with Indigenous people as neighbours and fellow image bearers.

  • Journey through the Inconvenient Indian Book Club, guided by four videos. Each session’s video will feature a guest speaker touching on some of the key themes of the book, settler-Indigenous relations in North America, and our shared Christian faith. Each session includes discussion questions to prompt further thought and meaningful dialogue. Find other Indigenous justice book recommendations for adults here and kids here.

  • In an effort to honour and protect Indigenous self-determination, ask your Senator to pass Bill C-15, for the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the laws of Canada. Given the possibility of an election this fall, it is urgent that this legislation for Indigenous rights pass this month! Here is the Action Alert produced by the Centre of Public Dialogue.

 

By no means is this an exhaustive list of resources of prayer and action. Please contact the Canadian Indigenous Ministry Committee ([email protected]) or the Centre for Public Dialogue ([email protected]) for any further information or questions.

A Prayer for the Uncovering of Graves in Kamloops

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Let's Discuss…

We love your comments! Thanks for your help upholding the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.

Thank you for posting this. I especially appreciate the calls to action.

I'd love to share a link to it, however there are some typos in the prayer.

Community Builder

Hi Ashley - we're glad this was helpful to you!  We would be happy to update this link to provide a version without the typos.  Please message us at [email protected] with what you need! 

 

  Thank you for the prayer and video.  We hope to include it in our worship this Sunday.  Is there a way to download the video so that we can embed it into our worship software?

 

Community Builder

Hi Pastor Marg - our apologies for the delay in responding.  Thank you for desiring to include this in your service.  The fastest way to get a download is to use a program like this.  Please feel free to contact us [email protected] if you need more help.  

Thank you for posting this prayer and the resources. Maple Ridge CRC prayed the prayer as part of our worship service on Sunday morning. 

Community Builder

Thank you so much for letting us know!  We hope it blessed your journey of reconciliation.