The remains of hundreds of children, some believed to be as young as three have been found on the grounds of a long-since closed Canadian residential school. It was was set up for indigenous children.
The school was founded by the Canadian government and it housed indigenous children, who were taken from their home for forced assimilation. No bodies have been dug up but their existence was confirmed using modern technology to see what was buried there.
The remains were detected near the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School founded in 1890.
Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation responded in a statement Thursday, saying:
“Given the size of the school, with up to 500 students registered and attending at any one time, we understand that this confirmed loss affects First Nations communities across British Columbia and beyond.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement said:
“The news that remains were found at the former Kamloops residential school breaks my heart – it is a painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter of our country’s history. I am thinking about everyone affected by this distressing news. We are here for you.”
The news that remains were found at the former Kamloops residential school breaks my heart – it is a painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter of our country’s history. I am thinking about everyone affected by this distressing news. We are here for you. https://t.co/ZUfDRyAfET
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 28, 2021
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2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report stated:
“States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next. In its dealing with Aboriginal people, Canada did all these things.”
The work on the site is expected to be finished sometime in June and they say it’s possible that they will find even more bodies as they continue to scout the area. I wonder if the school kept records on the deaths and the cause thereof. Of course they could be falsified but it does not hurt anything just to try.