The remains of 215 children have been found on the grounds of a historic boarding school built up more than a century earlier to integrate Canada’s indigenous populations, according to a local tribe. The Tk’emlups te Secwepemc community stated in a statement late Thursday that a specialist utilised ground-penetrating radar to verify the remains of the youngsters who attended the school near Kamloops, British Columbia.
Some were as young as three years old,” said head Rosanne Casimir, who described it as an unfathomable tragedy that was discussed but never documented” by school officials. She said the early findings will be published in a report next month.
Meanwhile, the tribe is collaborating with the coroner and museums to learn more about the shocking finding and locate any records of the fatalities. It’s also reaching out to the students’ families in British Columbia and worldwide.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated on Twitter that the “distressing” finding of the remains breaks my heart. He described it as a “sad reminder” of a “sad and sad chapter in our country’s history.
Pupils who have been deprived of their culture and language
Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett reiterated his sentiments, offering government assistance to the families and native tribes as they heal as we honour loved ones gone. With up to 500 students enrolled and visiting at any given time, the Kamloops Indian Residential School was the biggest of 139 boarding schools established in the late nineteenth century.
In total, 150,000 Indian, Inuit, and Metis children were forced to attend these institutions, where they were physically and sexually assaulted by headmasters and teachers who robbed them of their culture and language. These events are now being blamed in their communities for high rates of poverty, alcoholism, and domestic violence, as well as high suicide rates.
At least 3,200 children died as a result of abuse or neglect while attending a residential school, according to the names and facts provided by a truth and reconciliation commission. The exact figure has yet to be determined. From 1890 to 1969, it was run by the Catholic church on behalf of the Canadian government.
According to the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc statement, the principal at the Kamloops school raised concerns in 1910 that government funding was enough to appropriately feed the pupils. As part of a Can$1.9 billion (US$1.6 billion) settlement with former students in 2008, Ottawa formally apologized for what the commission eventually referred to as “cultural genocide.”