More than 200 children were found buried beneath an old school in British Columbia that used to engulf indigenous students.
Head Rosanne Casimir of Tk’emlaps te Secwépemc First Nation called the discovery a “The unthinkable loss to speak of but never recorded at Kamloops Indian Residential School,” once Canada’s largest residential school. The site is approximately 4 hours northeast of Vancouver by car.
Some of the 215 bodies were children under three years of age.
The remains were confirmed last weekend with the help of ground-penetrating radar. but have not exhumed the body. More bodies may be found while school grounds continue to be searched, Casimir said.
More than 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their parents between the 19th century and 1970s and taken to government-funded residential schools in an effort to make them part of society. Canada They were not allowed to speak their mother tongue or practice their culture and were forced to convert to Christianity.
“The pain of this news reminds us of our continued need to make every tragic situation happen in a church-run residential school,” Archbishop J. Michael Mi. Dealer of Vancouver said in a statement As reported by The Washington Post “Time has not wiped out the suffering that has plagued the affected indigenous communities. And we promise to do everything we can to heal that suffering.”
Numerous graves filled with women who died were found in the former police’s backyard.
Many children face neglect and physical and sexual abuse. And as many as 6,000 people have died at school, according to The Associated Press.
The Canadian government apologized in 2008, admitting that there had been a violation. The government has also paid billions of dollars in compensation to residential school survivors, The Post reported.
A report five years ago by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission said at least 3,200 children died of abuse and neglect. And it said at least 51 deaths were reported at Kamloops alone between 1915 and 1963.
“This underscores the problem of schools, housing and the genocide wounds on indigenous peoples,” said Terry TG, head of the British Columbia Regional Assembly. said on Friday
Kamloops School opened between 1890 and 1969 when the federal government took over from the Roman Catholic Church and operated as a day school until it closed in 1978. Ali has yet to issue an apology.
“Remaining news was found at the old school in Kamloops. Breaks my heart – it is a painful reminder of the dark and humiliating story of our country’s history.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Tweeted on Friday “I am thinking of everyone affected by this distressing news. We are here for you.”
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Investigators likely tried forensic techniques when the bodies were exhumed in an effort to identify the children and return them to their families and communities, The Post reported.
Experts say Other mass graves They may be found on the grounds of other former residential schools across the country.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.