This is a wretched moment in time. The province, the nation, are roiled by the discovery of the 215 bodies of Indigenous children buried on the grounds of Kamloops Indian Residential School. Shame is mixed with remorse, anger and moral outrage.
But it is not enough to shout j’accuse. That is too easy. We have known for some time, or we should have known, about this latest atrocity. We could have responded earlier with a policy of reparation built on the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, and most importantly we could have simply listened, been respectfully attentive when told the stories by family members, stories whispered, stories held in memory, stories encased in grief.
We must listen, attend, act and repair.
St. Mark’s and Corpus Christi Colleges are Roman Catholic institutions of higher learning and it is our job to listen and to act. The Gospel demands that we do, Catholic Social Teaching provides the way, and our collective conscience the imperative.
This is our statement of principle. We have concrete actions we are working on and we will inform you about them soon. This is our pledge for action.
Michael W. Higgins
President and Vice-Chancellor
Corpus Christi College and St. Mark’s College