Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was a “painful reminder” of the dark and shameful past.
The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, were found in the site of a boarding school for Aboriginal children. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the discovery heartbreaking on Friday.
According to Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation, the children were students at the Kamloops Indian Boarding School in British Columbia, which closed in 1978. The organization stated that the remains were discovered with the help of ground-penetrating radar experts.
Rosanne Casimir, head of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, said in a statement: “We learned in the community that we can verify.” “At this time, we have more questions than answers.”
Canadian Boarding school systemThe forcible separation of indigenous children from their families constituted “cultural genocide”, a six-year investigation of the now-defunct system discovered in 2015.
The report records that between the 1840s and the 1990s, many of the 150,000 children who attended schools suffered terrible physical abuse, rape, malnutrition, and other atrocities. These schools are usually run by the Christian Church on behalf of Ottawa.
It found that more than 4,100 children died while attending a boarding school. The deaths of 215 children buried in what was once Canada’s largest boarding school grounds are believed not to be included in this number and appear to have not been recorded until they were discovered.
Trudeau wrote in a tweet that the news “breaks my heart-it is a painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter in our country’s history.”
The news found at the former Kamloops boarding school broke my heart-it painfully reminded us of that dark and shameful chapter in our country’s history. I am thinking about everyone who is affected by this sad news. We are here to serve you. https://t.co/ZUfDRyAfET
-Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 28, 2021
In 2008, the Canadian government formally apologized for the system.
Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation stated that it is in contact with the coroner and the family community where the children are studying at the school. They are expected to obtain preliminary findings in mid-June.
In a statement, Terry Tigui, the regional director of the British Columbia Aboriginal Congress, called the search for such a cemetery as “urgent work” and “bringing grief and loss to all the aboriginals of British Columbia.”