Massive grave discovery of more than 200 Indigenous children at a boarding school in British Columbia sent shockwaves across Canada.
The burial site, which contains 215 bodies, some as young as three, was discovered this week with the aid of ground-penetrating radar at the site of the old Kamloops Indian Residential School. It was administered by the Roman Catholic Church from 1890 to 1978.
It’s no secret that similar institutions across the country In which at least 150,000 children attended, it was considered fraught with forced labor and physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
But the gruesome finding prompted advocates for new answers.
Head Rosanne Casimir of Tk̵7;emlups te Secwepemc First Nation, who visited the site last week in Kamloops, told Post Saturday the community was “raw and painful” after learning about the mass grave.
“The impact of this discovery is devastating,” Meir Meer said. “It is difficult to overstate the impact and impact it has on our nation. It caused many wounds and wounds. There are now many sad members.”
Casimir and others Said there was still a lot that they didn’t know what happened to the children.
“What we are missing is the truth,” Kasimir said. “We have been told that many children have never returned home. And some children fled and some died at school. But there is still a lot that we don’t know.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the tragic revelation “Break my heart”
“It’s a painful reminder of the dark and shameful chapter in our nation’s history,” Trudeau tweeted. “I’m thinking of everyone affected by this distressing news.”
But Bill Adsit was not surprised when authorities discovered the grave. He survived a decade at a similar boarding school in the 1950s.
These institutions are part of a nationwide network of Christian boarding schools for Indigenous children. which was set up by the government to get rid of their language and heritage.
“When I went in I was five years old,” Adsit, 77, a Tahltan First Nation member said in an interview with The Post. “I was sexually and physically harassed. and never returned home I never saw my father again. and only met her mother when she was 28 years old.”
“Maybe now we can get more answers,” said Adsit, a retired accountant who currently resides in Alberta.
In 2015, a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that studies the history of residential schools across the country identified these schools as “the most important people in the world.” “Culture of genocide” with the goal of indigenous peoples
Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, told the media last week that residential school burials exist across Canada. Blackstock said the Canadian government knows about children dying in schools and does not. What have you done to stop it?
catholic church Unlike other religious organizations The school’s supervisor has so far refused to apologize for the harassment and death that occurred at the school. Pope Francis denied a specific request for an apology from Trudeau in 2018.
To show respect for the children who have died A Vancouver artist placed hundreds of pairs of baby shoes on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Friday.
Tamara Bell told CTV News she called her network after hearing the news announced Thursday.
“I’m excited, heartbroken and taken aback because I know in so many cases,” Bell said.