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(CANADA) JUST IN: The remains of 215 children, some as young as three years old, have been found buried on the site of what was once the largest Indigenous residential school — one of the institutions that held children forcibly taken from families across the nation #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.31: More bodies may be found because there were more areas to search on the school grounds, Ms Casimir said: Earlier she called the discovery an “unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented at the Kamloops Indian Residential School”

CANADA: Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation said ground-penetrating radar was used to confirm the find that hundreds of children’s remains discovered at what was Canada’s largest Indigenous school

Posted Yesterday at 8:37pm

The main administrative building at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in 1970
More bodies could be found because there are more areas to search on the school grounds(Reuters: Library and Archives Canada/Handout)

A report more than five years ago by a Truth and Reconciliation Commission detailed harsh mistreatment inflicted on Indigenous children at the institutions.

It said at least 3,200 children had died amid abuse and neglect, and there were reports of at least 51 deaths at the Kamloops school alone between 1915 and 1963.

“This really resurfaces the issue of residential schools and the wounds from this legacy of genocide towards Indigenous people,” Terry Teegee, Assembly of First Nations regional chief for British Columbia, said.

A new classroom building at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in 1950
Students at the school were forcibly removed from their families and subject to abuse and neglect.(Reuters: Library and Archives Canada/Handout)

British Columbia Premier John Horgan said he was “horrified and heartbroken” to learn of the discovery, calling it a tragedy of “unimaginable proportions” that highlighted the violence of the residential school system.

The Kamloops school operated between 1890 and 1969, when the Canadian government took over operations from the Catholic Church and operated it as a day school until it closed in 1978.

Ms Casimir said it was believed the deaths were undocumented but a local museum archivist was working with the Royal British Columbia Museum to see if any records of the deaths could be found as Canada acknowledges ‘colonial genocide’As more members of the Commonwealth, including Britain, delve into its bloody past, how are other settler-colonial states dealing with renewed efforts to challenge their histories?

“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,” Ms Casimir said.

‘Extremely painful’

Kamloops Indian Residential School
British Columbia’s Premier says the discovery has left him “horrified and heartbroken”.(AP: Andrew Snucins/The Canadian Press)

Ms Casimir said officials were informing community members who had children who attended the school.

The First Nations Health Authority called the discovery of the children’s remains “extremely painful” and said in a website posting that it would: “have a significant impact on the Tk’emlúps community and in the communities served by this residential school.”

The authority’s CEO, Richard Jock, said the discovery illustrated “the damaging and lasting impacts that the residential school system continues to have on First Nations people, their families and communities”.

Nicole Schabus, a law professor at Thompson Rivers University, said each of her first-year law students at the Kamloops university spent at least one day at the former residential school speaking with survivors about the conditions they endured.

She said she did not hear survivors talk about an unmarked grave area, “but they all talk about the kids who didn’t make it”.

AP/ABC/Canada Local Media/

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.31: 2021:

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