From General Secretary, Michael Blair: qwōlqwel swáyel (telling news, talking together day)


Please read this short message from United Church of Canada General Secretary, Michael Blair, and below, information from the Xyólhmet Ye Syéwiqwélh (Taking Care of Our Children) Residential Schools Project:

“Later today, Thursday, Sept. 21, Stó:lō Nation will make an announcement about missing children and unmarked burial sites at All Hallows’ residential institution (Yale, BC); Coqualeetza residential institution (Chilliwack, BC); St. Mary’s residential institution (Mission, BC), as well as the Coqualeetza Hospital, which operated out of the former residential institution buildings until its closure in 1969. Coqualeetza was operated by The United Church of Canada from 1925 to 1940.

Throughout the day, please be intentional and hold gently in prayer the souls of the children who attended that school who did not go home.

Also please hold close those who did go home.

Please respectfully hold the nations and communities who grieve close in prayer, and also the Indigenous members and staff of the United Church.”

– Michael Blair, General Secretary.

Respectful Space-Making

We request that you do not make posts to social media accounts today, to create space for Indigenous peoples’ voices. The United Church of Canada General Council Office will release a statement later today. 

qwōlqwel swáyel

(telling news, talking together day)
Thursday September 21, 2023

The Xyólhmet ye Syéwiqwélh (Taking Care of Our Children) team will be sharing knowledge gathered around the missing children and unmarked burials for the following sites: St. Mary’s Residential School (Mission, BC.), Coqualeetza Industrial Institute (Chilliwack, BC), All Hallows School (Yale BC), and Coqualeetza Indian Hospital. This knowledge was gathered through speaking with Survivors, reading school and government records, ground searches and recording family histories.

This will be a day to share knowledge about the work we have undertaken to understand the history of unmarked graves and missing children associated with three residential school institutions, and one Indian Hospital, in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, and to talk about what we have learned so far.

The presentation will begin at 2:30pm and will also be streamed to the Stó:lō Nation Facebook page (Zoom link also here:
Speaker: Thiyō:qweltel The:táx Chris Silver, Semá:th First Nation

Also sharing Hiyólemtel Grand Chief Clarence Pennier, Stó:lō Tribal Council; Cyril Pierre, Katzie First Nation; Chief David Jimmie, Squiala First Nation; Dr. Dave Schaepe and Amber Kostuchenko, Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre

We know that this work affects the health and well-being of many. Please take care of yourselves and those around you and reach out the many supports available.

  • Indian Residential School Survivors Society 1-800-721-0066 (toll-free)
  • National Indian Residential School Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419 (toll-free)
  • Kuu-Us Crisis Line Society 250-723-4050 (Adults/Elders line) / 250-723-2040 (Youth line) / 1-800-588-8717 (toll-free)
  • Hope for Wellness Help Line 1-855-242-3310 (toll-free) or (confidential chat)
  • Métis Crisis Line 1-833-MétisBC (1-833-638-4722)”

Xyólhmet Ye Syéwiqwélh (Taking Care of Our Children) Residential Schools Project

Executive Minister Treena Duncan, and other United Church of Canada leaders will be in attendance.

Pacific Mountain Office

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