Vandalism at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church has left many Tk’emlups te Secwepemc members “deeply disturbed,” according to Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir.
Graffiti was found scrawled on the sides of the historic church on Monday morning, the words reading “banished,” “crime scene” and “evicted.”
In a statement, Casimir said the historic church, located in the Mount Paul area, was constructed “from the ground up by Tk’emlups te Secwepemc members.”
“We understand the many emotions connected to a Roman Catholic-run residential school,” Casimir said.
“At the same time, we respect the choices that Tk’emlups te Secwepemc ancestors made, over 100 years ago, to erect this church.”
The graffiti appeared days after TteS announced it had located the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
The residential school operated between 1890 and 1978, run most of that time by the Catholic Church.
Kamloops RCMP confirmed investigators are looking into the vandalism.