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The Bodies of 215 Children Discovered at Former Canadian School for Indigenous People

todayJune 2, 2021 4

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Using ground-penetrating radar, officials were able to identify a mass gravesite with 215 bodies at the former Kamloops Residential School in British Columbia, Canada.

What We Know:

  • The Residential School in Kamloops, British Columbia, was established by the Roman Catholic Church in 1890 and closed in 1978. Residential schools were a part of a nationwide Canadian initiative to assimilate indigenous children forcibly. Children between the ages of 4 and 15 were taken from their families and prohibited to practice any aspect of native culture.
  • The Tk’emlups te Secwépemc people announced the discovery. Chief Rosanne Casimir says some of the victims were as young as three years old. The causes and timing of their deaths are unknown.
  • Kamloops was one of the largest Residential Schools in Canada. In total, 150,000 children attended the institution. Former students recall unsanitary conditions and exposure to numerous contagious diseases.
  • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission calculates a minimum of 3,201 residential school deaths. This number is uncertain because of unaccounted deaths and destroyed files. In the case of Kamloops, a local museum archivist is working with the Royal British Columbia Museum to find a paper trail documenting the victims.

Mass graves at residential schools have long been an urban legend in indigenous communities across Canada. This discovery at Kamloops proves these suspicions to be true. “This is the reality of the genocide that was, and is, inflicted upon us as Indigenous peoples by the colonial state. Today we honor the lives of those children and hold prayers that they, and their families, may finally be at peace,” said Grand Chief Stewart Philip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

The post The Bodies of 215 Children Discovered at Former Canadian School for Indigenous People appeared first on Black News Alerts.

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