Kamloops Indian Residential School in 1930

St. Michael’s Signs ACCUC Call for Kamloops Action

For Immediate Release – June 7, 2021

Statement on Residential School Discovery

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Canada (ACCUC) is saddened and appalled to learn of the terrible discovery of 215 children’s bodies at the former Kamloops Residential School. We are deeply disturbed by the role our church has played in this case and in the residential schools in general, and we understand that this discovery is likely only the first of more to come. To the entire Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation and to the Indigenous community of Canada, we offer our deepest condolences and prayers.

As the leaders of Canada’s Catholic universities and colleges, we feel it is imperative that the suffering and loss of life experienced at the residential schools are never forgotten. As centres of learning, we re-commit our institutions to the importance of Indigenous education, and to listening and working with our Indigenous communities towards the goals of conscientization, reconciliation and healing. To these ends, we also request that the complete records of the residential schools be preserved and made available to all those who seek to learn from this horrific chapter in history.

Most urgently and with a filial heart, we join other Canadian Catholic organizations in urging the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to request Pope Francis formally apologize to the survivors, their families, and to all of the Indigenous communities of Canada. We believe that the Holy Father’s apology will be important for addressing the Church’s reprehensible involvement in the federal residential school system, as well as serving as a critical start for the process of healing the multiple wounds of our Indigenous brothers and sisters.

Yours Sincerely,

Peter Meehan, Ed.D.
Chair, ACCUC
President and Vice-Chancellor, St. Jerome’s University

John Cappucci, Ph.D.
Vice-Chair, ACCUC
Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Assumption University

Chantal Beauvais, Ph.D.
Rectrice, Université Saint Paul/Saint Paul University, University of Ottawa

Shawn Flynn, Ph.D.
President, St. Joseph’s College

Andy Hakin, Ph.D.
President and Vice-Chancellor, St. Francis Xavier University

Rob Harasymchuk, M.B.A.
President, St. Peter’s College

Dr. Sami Helewa, S.J.
President, Campion College

Michael Higgins, Ph.D.
President and Vice-Chancellor, Corpus Christi/St. Mark’s College

Cheryl Jensen, M.Ed.
Interim Principal, Brescia University College

David Malloy, Ph.D.
Principal, King’s University College, Western University

John Meehan, SJ
President and Vice-Chancellor, Université de Sudbury/University of Sudbury

Brigitte Quintal, B.C.L.
Présidente/President, Collège Universitaire Dominicain/Dominican University College

Dawn Russell, Q.C.
President and Vice-Chancellor, St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick

Carl Still, Ph.D.
President, St. Thomas More College

David Sylvester, Ph.D.
President and Vice-Chancellor, University of St. Michael’s College

Gerry Turcotte, Ph.D.
President and Vice-Chancellor, St. Mary’s University

Jason West, Ph.D.
President, Newman Theological College

Thomas Worcester, SJ
President, Regis College

About Us

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities in Canada (ACCUC) is an organization of over twenty postsecondary academic institutions located across Canada. The ACCUC acts as the official voice for Catholic higher learning in Canada, as it seeks to spread “the spirit of learning” throughout the country.