Winnipeg, June 22, 2021 – A by-product of colonization, the Indian Residential School (IRS) system caused much suffering to the Aboriginal population of Canada. On behaif of the Missionary Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart and of Mary Immaculate, I sincerely apologize for our implication in these schools.
To all families who were separated: parents from children, children from parents and from their brothers and sisters and from their community, we are deeply sorry! IRS severed your connection to your roots, culture, values, language, beliefs and to your native medicinal practices. Though our intention in working in IRS was never to cause any harm, unfortunately, we, too, were caught in and part of the system, and for that, we, again, offer our sincere apologies.
In the last number of years, many efforts towards reconciliation have been made by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in Canada. The traumatic discovery of unmarked graves on the grounds of former Kamloops IRS has, however, reopened wounds and brought further suffering. It also tested the solidity of our reconciliation process.
Together, let us pray the Great One/ Creator/ God that we may be guided to new paths of reconciliation, paths that we can share together as one, in understanding, mutuality and equality.
Léa Archambault, M.O.
Missionary Oblate Sisters General Administration
Ste. 003 – 601 rue Aulneau,
Winnipeg, MB, R2H 2V5
Telephone: (204) 233-7287