The University of B.C. says it is reconsidering an honorary degree given to a bishop who worked at two residential schools in B.C.
John Fergus O’Grady was granted the honorary degree in 1986. According to UBC archives, O’Grady was part of the Oblate Fathers, a Catholic order, and “served on the staffs of Native Indian schools in Mission and Kamloops” and developed a separate school curriculum program for Indigenous children.
The university said it would reconsider the issue following the discovery of 215 children buried in unmarked graves on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School by the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation.
“The university is aware of the community concerns relating to the honorary degree conferred in 1986 to Bishop John O’Grady. The issues raised are deeply upsetting and we take them seriously,” UBC said in a statement.
“UBC’s Senate will be reviewing this matter immediately per our processes and policies relating to honorary degree recipients.”
The university is aware of the community concerns relating to the honorary degree conferred in 1986 to Bishop John O'Grady. The issues raised are deeply upsetting and we take them seriously. (1/2)— University of British Columbia (@UBC) May 29, 2021
National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.