Statement of the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada on Residential Schools

Statement of the Catholic Health Alliance of Canada

We are profoundly saddened by the disclosure of the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the lands of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, and we extend our deepest condolences to the families and communities who are grieving this terrible loss.

As we work together across this land to foster the full disclosure of the truths of oppression and colonialism, Catholic health care is committed to being a healing presence on the journey of Truth & Reconciliation. We recognize that there is still much work to do by the Catholic Church and Catholic health care.

As Catholic health care providers, we acknowledge that we serve on traditional territories of the Indigenous Peoples who have stewarded these lands since time immemorial. We honour and acknowledge their spiritual and practical relationships to the land that create a rich heritage for our learning, our life as a community, and to inform our health care approach.

Across Canada, we serve and walk with many survivors who continue to demonstrate strength and resilience while also grappling with wounds and scars of Residential School trauma, loss and suffering carried down through generations. The journey to healing calls us to work each day to build openness, trust, compassion and humility.

In our care and our decisions as health care providers, we are committed to providing a safe place where we can connect as people, listen deeply and learn from each other with respect and vulnerability. There is a call for social justice across Canada and a common drive to create a world where all can thrive and everyone finds belonging, dignity and worth.

As Catholic health care providers, in dialogue with First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples, we are committed to improved whole-person and culturally safe health care that respects and enhances the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental dimensions.

May we walk together with courage and compassion to bring about the shared and long-lasting reconciliation we long for—anchored in authentic healing and restoration, mutual understanding, trust and community.

 

Sara John Fowler                                                                              John Ruetz

Chair, Governing Council                                                               President & CEO June 17, 2021

The Catholic Health Alliance of Canada is a collaborative of 14 sponsor/owners of 129 health organizations with Catholic identity in Canada.

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