In a statement, Arcbishop Miller said, “I am filled with deep sadness at the troubling news about the 215 children found buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.”
“The pain that such news causes reminds us of our ongoing need to bring light to every tragic situation that occurred in residential schools run by the Church.
The passage of time does not erase the suffering that touches the Indigenous communities affected, and we pledge to do whatever we can to heal that suffering.”
Kamloops Bishop Joseph Nguyen also expressed his sadness, saying “I humbly join so many who are heartbroken and horrified” by the news.
“On behalf of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kamloops, I express my deepest sympathy to Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Nation and to all who are mourning this tragedy and an unspeakable loss. No words of sorrow could adequately describe this horrific discovery.”
The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, were found buried on the site of what was once Canada's largest Indigenous residential school.
Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation said that the remains were confirmed last weekend with the help of ground-penetrating radar. She also said the deaths were undocumented.
The Kamloops Indian Residential School was founded in 1890 and administered by religious authorities and the government.
The Catholic administered school had as many as 500 students in the 1950s. It closed in 1978.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the discovery was a "painful reminder" of a "shameful chapter of our country's history".