Somebody scrawled graffiti on the outside walls and door of the heritage St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on or around May 31. Photograph By TWITTER/SECWEPEMCC SECWEPEMC CROW

Somebody scrawled graffiti on the outside walls and door of the heritage St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on or around May 31. Photograph By TWITTER/SECWEPEMCC SECWEPEMC CROW

Tk’emlups condemns vandalism at Kamloops Catholic church

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was built by Catholic Missionaries

  • Jun. 7, 2021 2:11 p.m.

-Kamloops This Week

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation has expressed its disappointment with graffiti discovered scrawled on the outside of a heritage church on its reserve.

In a press release, Chief Rosanne Casimir said the band was “deeply disturbed to learn that the Saint Joseph’s church was vandalized.”

The graffiti was apparently discovered late on the morning of Monday, May 31— just days after the band announced it had discovered the remains of 215 children who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School, which was run by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a congregation of the Catholic Church.

The Kamloops Indian Residential School operated from 1890 until 1977, with the federal government assuming administration of the school from 1969 until it closed in 1977.

Photos of the graffiti posted to social media show the words “evicted,” “banished” and “crime scene” written on the siding of the century-old building at 200 Chilcotin Rd., as well as a large “X” on the door.

Much of the graffiti appeared to have been scrubbed off by Tuesday. though some of the markings were still visible.

Kamloops RCMP has said it is investigating.

“The church was built from the ground up by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc members,” Casimir said in the release. “We understand the many emotions connected to a Roman Catholic run residential school. At the same time, we respect the choices that Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc ancestors made, over 100 years ago, to erect this church.”

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, at the west end of Chilcotin Road, was built by Catholic Missionaries and the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc people, established after the Hudson’s Bay Company relocated its fort to the west side of the North Thompson River in 1843.

Although the signboard in front of the church today indicates it was originally built in or around 1870, part of it is actually much older.

When the Tk’emlúps band undertook restoration of the church in the mid-1980s, the remains of a hewn log floor system were discovered within the building, possibly part of the original church erected on the site by the Secwépemc te Tk’emlúps. The first missionaries in the area were the Jesuits in 1843. Reports of a cabin at the site date back to 1846.

The church’s appearance today is how the church was reconstructed in 1900.

READ MORE: Indigenous leaders frustrated after Pope passes on apology for residential schools

READ MORE: Motion passes urging feds drop court actions on rulings regarding First Nations kids

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Kamloops

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read