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 3:11 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

The ‘official’ opening of 2nd Edition Coworking in downtown Fernie, a project five years in the making by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce. Left to right: Executive Director of the Fernie Chamber Brad Parsell, incoming President of the Fernie Chamber Norm Fraser, outgoing President of the Fernie Chamber Anita Palmer, and Mayor of Fernie Ange Qualizza. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Chamber cuts the ribbon on 2nd Edition

The new coworking space in Fernie is now ‘officially’ open, but has been operating since early 2021

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks with the new AED SaveStation installed at the Sparwood Leisure Centre. (Contributed by District of Sparwood)
Sparwood installs public AED

The SaveStation was installed thanks to a grant from CP Rail

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

(File)
“Gift card scam,” and “grandparent scam” are on the rise, Cranbrook RCMP say

Folks are falling for these scams: “No Government agency or reputable company will ever ask anyone to pay with gift cards in lieu of their fines”

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Most Read