The remains were found during radar surveys near the town of Kamloops in western Canada. This is what Rosan Casimir, president of Tk’emlúps at Secwépemc, says is the Aboriginal Canadian population.
In the place in southern British Columbia there was one internal school Established, the kind of boarding school that there were thousands in Canada and where indigenous children are forcibly housed. For example, they need to be “assimilated” into Canadian society more quickly. The Kamloops Indian Residential School Founded in 1890 by the Roman Catholic Church in Canada, it remained open until 1978. The school was part of a nationwide network of indigenous Canadian children. At least 150,000 children would have attended these schools. Kamloops Indian Residential School It was one of the largest companies of its kind in Canada.
In 2015, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Was established, which examines the treatment of Aboriginal children in the Canadian school system. This illustrates how the systematic atrocities occurred. The committee speaks of a “cultural genocide of indigenous Canadians”.
Children were often cut off from their families, and were no longer allowed to speak their native language or practice the traditions of their indigenous culture. Physical, emotional, and even sexual assaults were common. Children often had to perform forced labor.
Research by the committee found that at least 4,100 children actually died while going to school, often from malnutrition or disease outbreaks. The remains of the children now found were not included in those numbers. Documents submitted to the committee described the situation at the school as “extremely harsh”, as the school was not receiving sufficient government funding for each student to cover the costs.
In those same documents, a 1935 report describes how there was very little space during the measles outbreak to isolate sick students. There are 5 dormitory rooms for 285 students and it is very full. The report states that during an outbreak, it is impossible to isolate patients. During that outbreak, many students also died.
“Every indigenous Indian student was starving,” George Manuel, who attended the school himself during the 1920s, responded in the Guardian. The school was cold during the winter, and sanitation facilities were scarce.
“Within our society, we knew this was happening, but we have not been able to verify or prove it.” Rosanne Casimir said in a statement to the press, as far as we know, these children died without documents.
Tk’emlúps announced at Secwépemc that they had engaged to a pathologist. There will be further investigations into the dead, and it is hoped that preliminary results will emerge by mid-June. Meanwhile, the community has contacted families and communities whose children are known to be attending school.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter that the news broke his heart. “It is a painful reminder of this dark and shameless chapter in our country’s history.” The Prime Minister has apologized to the indigenous peoples of Canada. She said that our country is working on recovery and recovery, but discrimination and inequality still exist.
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