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Regarding Kamloops 
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There are certain events that galvanize people across the spectrum and attract our collective attention. One of those was the discovery last week of the remains of 215 First Nations children buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops run by the Roman Catholic Church. 
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Byron and Diane Grant have been working with First Nations people in the Vancouver area for over 40 years and are members of our church. They’ve heard many stories and worked with people who have been deeply impacted by the residential school system. I asked Byron if he had anything in writing that he would like to share with our church through this platform.
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He pointed to a post he shared on Facebook written by a First Nations woman named Angelica Casimer whose father had lived in a residential school. She points to the effects, including abuse and drug usage, that have now been passed from generation to generation because of the trauma of residential schools. 
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Byron suggested I share the response of his son, Nathan, to this post:
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"I encourage everyone to read this. She so perfectly breaks down the devastating impact that residential schools had on First Nations. The intergenerational trauma, cycle of abuse and loss of cultural identity and heritage.
Because of the nature of my parent's work, I grew up hearing about the atrocities that took place at these schools and the horrific abuse these children suffered. I remember being shocked when I would hear people say they had never heard about what went on. It is an inexcusable failing that we, as a country, and those of us who are aware of what went on (and I include myself in this) have not fought harder to bring awareness and understanding of the impact of the residential school system.
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I am still saddened and heartbroken when I hear statements or conversations like the ones Angelica describes - that First Nations people should just move on, or let it go, or that other people's ancestors had it hard too you know. Or that all the "Indians" want is more money from the Government. This dismissive thinking and justification for ignoring the issue has to stop.
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I also admit that as a white person, I haven't always entered into a conversation when I overhear these kinds of things being said. Whether it's because I just didn't want to get into an argument or feel like it's not the time or my place to try and correct them. But that is part of the problem, we all need to do our part and to have these hard conversations. We need to continue to educate ourselves, seek to understand the hurt and pain of Indigenous communities and strive to find the healing and reconciliation that is so long overdue.
I pray that this latest discovery of the remains of 215 children buried at the Kamloops residential school will be the catalyst for our Government and all of Canada to seek to uncover the truth about these schools. To seek to find, identify and return remains to families so that healing can begin to happen. To commit to real action towards truth and reconciliation."
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Here’s how Byron responds to his son: “I could not have said it better! Listening and understanding are key to healing and reconciliation. We, as non indigenous people must see First Nations people as equals, created in the image of God. Respect and honour bring unity.”
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Byron believes that this news is the “tip of the iceberg”, that more discoveries will follow. It’s likely that this conversation will only ramp up. May we, as followers of Jesus, be known for our compassion, our empathy, our desire to serve and be God’s instruments of healing and reconciliation.