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‘Unthinkable loss’: Remains of 215 children found at Indigenous boarding school in Canada

The remains of 215 children have been discovered on the grounds of a former boarding school set up more than a century ago to assimilate Canada’s Indigenous peoples, according to a local tribe.

A specialist used ground-penetrating radar to confirm the students’ remains who attended the school near Kamloops, British Columbia, the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc tribe said in a statement late Thursday.

“Some were as young as three years old,” said chief Rosanne Casimir, calling it “an unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented” by school administrators.

Its preliminary findings are expected to be released in a report next month, she said.

In the meantime, the tribe is working with the coroner and museums to shed further light on the horrific discovery and find any records of these deaths.

It is also reaching out to the students’ home communities across British Columbia and beyond.

The “distressing” discovery of the remains “breaks my heart,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a Twitter message. “It is a painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter of our country’s history,” he said. Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett echoed his comments, who also offered government support to the families and Indigenous communities for their “healing as we honor loved ones lost.”

The Kamloops Indian Residential School was the largest of 139 boarding schools set up in the late 19th century, with up to 500 students registered and attending at any one time.

It was operated by the Catholic church on behalf of the Canadian government from 1890 to 1969. Some 150,000 Indian, Inuit, and Metis youngsters in total were forcibly enrolled in these schools, where students were physically and sexually abused by headmasters and teachers who stripped them of their culture and language.

remains of 215 children were found on the grounds of the school, which is now closed” src=”https://sl.sbs.com.au/public/image/file/42fc5367-cb3c-48bc-86dd-9435762ab52a” alt=”The remains of 215 children were found on the grounds of the school, which is now closed” width=”700″ height=”467″ />

The remains of 215 children were found on the grounds of the school, which is now closed.

The Canadian Press

Today, those experiences are blamed for a high incidence of poverty, alcoholism, domestic violence, and increased suicide rates in their communities.

A truth and reconciliation commission identified the names of, or information about, at least 3,200 children who died from abuse or neglect while attending a residential school. The exact number remains unknown.

At the Kamloops school, the principal in 1910 had raised concerns that federal funding was insufficient to properly feed the students, according to the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc statement.

Canada formally apologized in 2008 for what the commission later termed a “cultural genocide” as part of a $1.9 billion (AUD 2 billion) settlement with former students.

Molly Aronson

Molly Aronson is a 26-year-old government politician who enjoys bowling, running and jigsaw puzzles. She is creative and exciting, but can also be very greedy and a bit greedy.She is an australian Christian who defines herself as straight. She has a post-graduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics. She is allergic to grasshoppers.

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