|Letter to the Pacific Mountain Region|
John Snow, Indigenous Minister, PMRC
Kamloops Gathering for the Children of Residential SchoolScripture and Reading, Isaiah 53, NSRV
“He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity; and as one who from others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely, he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord, has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”We look to the mourning of our dear children, and we seek forgiveness and guidance, direction, and healing. We are lost and we seek the guidance of our Creator. There is a need to heal the sick, feed the poor and to now raise the dead.
We are called in this time and in this place to witness and we are called to action. We are called to support all in their healing. Today we renew the calls and the real implementation of the TRC calls to action. We advocate call 71-76, TRC Commission of which we are a signatory.
Call 71, TRC.
“We call upon all chief coroners and provincial vital statistics agencies that have not provided to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada their records on the Deaths of Aboriginal children in the care of the residential school authorities to make these documents available to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.”
My Elders from Morley and my family worked on various projects, and we would be confronted with Indigenous burial sites.
I reference these reburials of Children in Alberta that I and my people have had to bring closure to; the work has been very difficult and draining with slow or no government response to the patriation of bodies. In many cases, we have been fighting with government since 1965 to re bury bodies in Alberta. Our family has been called to several sites from our former occupations working in land and environmental, the Stoney have been coordinating re burials since 1965. My brothers and I have been part of many ceremonies to rebury the children.
Here are the links for all the reburial we/Stoney have been involved with ……
Red Deer Residential School 2010
Dunbow Residential School 2014
My people, family and I worked with projects in the past, we would be confronted with burial sites. There are many times we had to help hold and conduct ceremonies and it was a difficult task.
- I think it is important to call for a letter writing campaign to law makers for implementing laws to protect Indigenous Burial sites, (none exist in the country)
- We call on support for all burial projects to be funded for research and provide closure to these gravesites, for Indigenous communities
I believe your contributions may be sent to Pacific Mountain Region marked for mission and service for supporting important events.
May the peace of Christ be with you in your time of need.
Reverend John Snow Jr., Indigenous Minister, Pacific Mountain Regional Council