OTTAWA – An Indigenous community in British Columbia claims to have found a mass grave containing the remains of 215 children on the grounds of a former residential school.
Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation said in a statement that penetrating radars discovered the remains near the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, which operated from 1890 to 1978.
It was, according to the press release, “an unthinkable loss that we talked about but which has never been documented.”
Canada had a long-standing residential school system, mostly run by churches, that Indigenous children were required to attend.
A National Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded in 2015 that it was a program of “cultural genocide”. The use of indigenous languages was banned, sometimes violently, in schools, as were indigenous cultural practices.