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Cowessess news must deepen reconciliation commitment

Statement by St. Andrew’s College about the discovery of unmarked graves at Marieval Indian Residential School.

As the Principal of St. Andrew’s College, I write to express deep dismay and pain over the news that has been shared by Chief Cadmus Delorme of the Cowessess First Nation about the 751 unmarked graves at Marieval Indian Residential School.

This distressing news reinforces St. Andrew’s College’s commitment to reconciliation. At St. Andrew’s, we believe that healing demands the acknowledgement of our historical role in colonization. The College also recognizes that we are complicit in the ongoing impacts and structures of colonization. As a community of faith, we must guard against confusing Jesus’ mandate of liberation and radical love with the temptation of imposing cultural Christianity.
 
On behalf of the college, I ask that you join us in holding the Cowessess First Nation in prayer, light and love and commit to be present in whatever way assists them in this difficult journey. All of us at St. Andrew’s encourage our United Church of Canada family to continue to seek out ways locally, nationally, and internationally to walk with us as a people seeking and nurturing the healing journey of reconciliation among all our relations.
 
May It Be So.

In faith,
Dea. Dr. Richard Manley-Tannis
 
Support is available for anyone affected by their experience at residential schools, and those who are triggered by the latest reports. A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.

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