cloudy.png
Monday October 25th, 2021 10:54AM

More than 200 bodies found at Indigenous school in Canada

By The Associated Press

KAMLOOPS, British Columbia (AP) — The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, have been found buried on the site of what was once Canada's largest Indigenous residential school — one of the institutions that held children taken from families across the nation.

Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation said in a news release that the remains were confirmed last weekend with the help of ground-penetrating radar.

More bodies may be found because there are more areas to search on the school grounds, Casimir said Friday.

In an earlier release, she called the discovery an “unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.”

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 First Nations children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools as part of a program to assimilate them into Canadian society. They were forced to convert to Christianity and not allowed to speak their native languages. Many were beaten and verbally abused, and up to 6,000 are said to have died.

The Canadian government apologized in Parliament in 2008 and admitted that physical and sexual abuse in the schools was rampant. Many students recall being beaten for speaking their native languages; they also lost touch with their parents and customs.

Indigenous leaders have cited that legacy of abuse and isolation as the root cause of epidemic rates of alcoholism and drug addiction on reservations.

A report more than five years ago by a Truth and Reconciliation Commission said at least 3,200 children had died amid abuse and neglect, and it said it had 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 Colombia, said Friday.

The remains were detected and not exhumed. Lisa Lapointe, chief coroner in British Columbia, said it was advised by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc on Thursday about the discovery of a burial site located adjacent to the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

“We are early in the process of gathering information and will continue to work collaboratively with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and others as this sensitive work progresses,” Lapointe said

“We recognize the tragic, heartbreaking devastation that the Canadian residential school system has inflicted upon so many, and our thoughts are with all of those who are in mourning today.”

The band is still working with a radar specialist to complete a survey of the ground. They anticipate having a full report ready by mid-June — one Casimir said will be shared publicly, but not until it has been disclosed to its membership and other local First Nations chiefs.

She said the band will also be looking into what it can do to repatriate the remains and honor the children and the families impacted.

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

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

Casimir said it’s believed the deaths are undocumented, although a local museum archivist is working with the Royal British Columbia Museum to see if any records of the deaths can be found.

“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,” Casimir said in the initial release issued late Thursday.

The leadership of the Tk’emlups community “acknowledges their responsibility to caretake for these lost children,” Casimir said.

Access to the latest technology allows for a true accounting of the missing children and will hopefully bring some peace and closure to those lives lost, she said in the release.

Casimir said band officials are informing community members and surrounding communities that had children who attended the school.

The First Nations Health Authority called the discovery of the remains “extremely painful” and said in a website posting that it “will 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 “illustrates 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 spends at least one day at the former residential school speaking with survivors about conditions they had 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.”

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
More than 200 bodies found at Indigenous school in Canada
The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, have been found buried on the site of what was once Canada’s largest Indigenous residential school
9:03AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Since the nose doesn't know pot is now legal, K-9s retire
Drug-sniffing police dogs from around Virginia are being forced into early retirement as the state prepares to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana on July 1
9:03AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Rioters blame their actions on 2020 election misinformation
Falsehoods about the election helped bring insurrectionists to the Capitol on Jan. 6, and now some who are facing criminal charges for their actions during the riot hope their gullibility might save them in court or at least produce some sympathy
9:00AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
California mass killer had arsenal of guns, ammo at his home
Authorities searching the home of Samuel Cassidy say the man who gunned down nine co-workers at a California rail yard had stockpiled an arsenal that included a dozen guns, Molotov cocktails and 25,000 rounds of ammunition
1:12AM ( 8 hours ago )
Tatum's 50 points carry Celtics over Nets 125-119
Jayson Tatum scored a playoff career-high 50 points to carry the Boston Celtics back into their series against the Brooklyn Nets with a 125-119 victory in Game 3
12:50AM ( 8 hours ago )
WH legislative team pursues 'politics is personal' strategy
While President Joe Biden pitches his infrastructure plan to the American public, the real work of delivering his legislative agenda takes place behind the scenes
12:40AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP National News
DA won't seek new death sentence against Scott Peterson
A California district attorney won't seek a new death sentence against Scott Peterson, convicted in 2005 of murdering his pregnant wife Laci
10:52PM ( 10 hours ago )
Sheriff: Rail yard shooter stockpiled guns, ammo at his home
Authorities say a gunman who killed nine of his co-workers at a California rail yard had stockpiled weapons and 25,000 rounds of ammunition at his house before setting it on fire
9:14PM ( 12 hours ago )
Organizers: Dispute over survivors scrapped Tulsa event
Tulsans working on events commemorating the 1921 Race Massacre say a dispute over monetary payments to survivors led to the cancellation of a headline event
7:37PM ( 13 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: China reports 16 new confirmed coronavirus cases
China has reported 16 new confirmed coronavirus cases including two authorities said were believed to have been acquired locally
11:17PM ( 10 hours ago )
The Latest: CDC loosens mask guidance for summer campers
Kids at summer camps can skip wearing masks outdoors, with some exceptions
6:52PM ( 14 hours ago )
Belarus leader seeks Russian support amid showdown with EU
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has met in Sochi with his Belarusian counterpart for talks on forging closer ties amid Minsk's bruising showdown with the European Union over the forced diversion of a passenger jet to arrest a dissident journalist
3:03PM ( 18 hours ago )
AP World News
Since the nose doesn't know pot is now legal, K-9s retire
Drug-sniffing police dogs from around Virginia are being forced into early retirement as the state prepares to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana on July 1
9:03AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Rioters blame their actions on 2020 election misinformation
Falsehoods about the election helped bring insurrectionists to the Capitol on Jan. 6, and now some who are facing criminal charges for their actions during the riot hope their gullibility might save them in court or at least produce some sympathy
9:00AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Marijuana legalization prompting police K-9 retirements
Drug-sniffing police dogs from around Virginia are being forced into early retirement as the state prepares to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana on July 1
8:23AM ( 55 minutes ago )
The Latest: Philippines ends ban on workers' travel to Saudi
The Philippines has lifted a ban on the deployment of workers to Saudi Arabia
5:30AM ( 3 hours ago )
Tauchman robs Pujols of winning HR, Giants top Dodgers in 10
Giants left fielder Mike Tauchman reached over the wall to rob Albert Pujols of a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and San Francisco broke through in the 10th to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-5 in a thriller
2:20AM ( 6 hours ago )