Camp Kintail will be lowering our flag from May 31 to June 8 to mourn and honour the lives of the 215 children found buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Camp Kintail is a camp of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, which operated 11 Residential Schools and 5 Day schools. To learn more about The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s schools, read and view The Presbyterian Archives exhibit on residential schools. To learn the names of the children who were known to have died at residential school, the National Student Memorial is available on the website of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. For residential and day school survivors and intergenerational survivors, please know that support is available 24 hours a day at the National Residential School Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419).
In 1994, The Presbyterian Church in Canada adopted the Confession to God and Indigenous Peoples for our role in the Residential Schools. The church has received the recommendations of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. To read more, please see the Healing & Reconciliation work of The Presbyterian Church in Canada.
Camp Kintail was founded in 1929 to provide children with a chance to be outdoors and learn of God’s love. At the very same time, the church was removing children from loving families to residential schools where they were told that their language, culture, and traditions were unacceptable. Schools where children were physically, emotionally, and sexually abused. Schools where students had at most half a day of learning, with the rest of the day at work in the laundry, farm, or kitchen. Schools where children died at the same rate as soldiers in World War Two. As people who love and care for children, we must acknowledge the immense harm done to children and their communities in Residential and Day Schools.
For the next 215 hours, we will mourn with those who mourn. And then we will work towards greater truth and then healing and then reconciliation.
Rev. Theresa McDonald-Lee