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'True truth and reconciliation:' Cowessess grave site to get upgrades (from June 2019)

Here's an interesting article in the wake of the tragic news from Saskatchewan regarding the 'discovery' of the 750+ graves that's worth reading. It's from 3 years ago and announced that the Archdiocese of Regina donated $70,000 to repair and upgrade the cemetery where these children were buried. 

If you read it you will see that while the media suggests that this is a 'discovery' of 'unknown' graves, the First Nation and the Church have know of the cemeteries existence for many years and that the Church gave the money to aid in the restoration as act of reconciliation for the harm that was done at that residential school. 

While this in no way diminishes the gravity and horror of so many children dying while separated from their families throughout the years with the complicit participation of the Church, it does demonstrate that the all parties knew of the existence of these graves and that the local Catholic diocese was working towards obtaining a measure of justice for those lost souls by honoring their place of burial and working towards a concrete reconciliation with the local First Nation most directly affected by their deaths. Yet, if one is to believe the reports circulating in the media this week, one can hardly but conclude that the Church was actively trying to hide or cover-up the fact that these children died and their graves were left unkept. Clearly both these conclusions are not true. 

$70,000 is hardly sufficient compensation for the harm that's been inflicted on many, many families, it was and is a good first step on the part of that local Catholic Church to work towards an authentic and meaningful reconciliation as has been called for by the TRC. I just thought you would appreciate knowing this bit of news lest you are tempted to give up all hope in the goodness of our Catholic faith communities. 

There's much more to do, but at least if we're honest with each other, we can admit that we're trying even though there's still a long way to go. 

Fr. Tim


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