Published: Sun, May 30, 2021
Medical | By

Remains of 215 children found under former school

Remains of 215 children found under former school

Canada's residential schools were compulsory boarding schools run by the government and religious authorities during the 19th and 20th Centuries with the aim of forcibly assimilating indigenous youth.

On Friday, Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation told the outlet that the remains of 215 children, some as young as 3, had been found using ground-piercing radar on the grounds of where the Kamloops Indian Residential School, shut down in 1978, once operated in Kamloops, British Columbia.

"We had a knowing in our community that we were able to verify. It's our history and it's something we've always had to fight to prove". "To me, it's always been a terrible, awful history".

Bishop Joseph Nguyen expressed his "deepest sympathy" on behalf of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kamloops to Casimir and the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation.

Kamloops Indian Residential School na im big pass for di residential system.

The discovery of the remains confirms the many comments from school survivors about children disappearing, he said.

Survivors started calling her Thursday when the discovery was made public, saying they can't sleep because the reports triggered awful childhood memories, she said.

The Tk'emlúps te Secwepemc Nation said it was engaging with the coroner and reaching out to the home communities whose children attended the school.

"This is the beginning but, given the nature of this news, we felt it important to share immediately", Casimir said. "The passage of time does not erase the suffering".

In 2008, di Canada goment formally apologise for di system.

The "distressing" discovery of the remains "breaks my heart", Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a Twitter message.

The landmark Truth and Reconciliation report, released in 2015, said the policy amounted to "cultural genocide".

The commission found evidence of neglect and maltreatment spanning decades at Kamloops.

"I'm a mom, and I can't imagine my child dying at school".

Casimir said it's believed the deaths are undocumented, although a local museum archivist is working with the Royal British Columbia Museum to see if any records of the deaths can be found.

"I'm so grateful to the survivors who had so generously shared their stories", she said. "We have not done all our grounds, and we do know that there is still more to be discovered", Chief Casimir said.

"This past weekend, with the help of a ground penetrating radar specialist, the stark truth of the preliminary findings came to light - the confirmation of the remains of 215 children who were students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School". He asked the federal government to work with Indigenous groups on researching the fates of missing children.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday described the discovery as heartbreaking. Her department and health officials in British Columbia will set up support services for the First Nation, it said.

Thursday's announcement is only the first of the preliminary findings. "We are early in the process of gathering information and will continue to work collaboratively with the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc and others as this sensitive work progresses", she said.

British Columbia Premier John Horgan said he was "horrified and heartbroken" when he learned of the burial site. "We wish to ensure that our community members, as well as all home communities for the children who attended are duly informed".

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