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

Grizzly Plaza Revitalization team. Robert Inwood (left), Bill Cameron, Fran Jenkins and Tom Lynn (creators of the bear statues). (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives #10304 TR-853)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Hot and cold water have different pouring sounds

Your morning start for Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read