Last updated on February 22, 2023.
Please note that this statement contains distressing details.
Tseshaht First Nation released findings on Tuesday, February 21, from their search of the former site of Alberni Residential School in British Columbia, one of the schools operated by The Presbyterian Church in Canada until 1925 and thereafter by the United Church of Canada.
Tseshaht First Nation announced that they were able to verify 67 deaths of students at the school and that ground penetrating radar and other geophysical research identified 17 possible unmarked graves. With profound repentance, The Presbyterian Church in Canada acknowledges these findings. We pray for healing for the harm we have caused, as well as comfort for all those who grieve. We continue deepening our commitment to work for healing, reconciliation and redress.
Reflection is now needed, from a spirit of repentance, on the findings Tseshaht First Nation has announced. The church will do so and release a fuller response later.
Additional Information & Resources
- The National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available for any former Residential School students and other Indigenous people needing support at 1-866-925-4419 (toll-free)
- A statement from the PCC regarding Residential Schools
- The church’s 1994 Confession to Indigenous people
- For more on the PCC’s ongoing work related to healing and reconciliation, visit the Social Action Hub