Remains of 215 children found under former school

Carla Harmon
May 29, 2021

"Di tori say na ontop di former Kamloops residential school dem find di deadi bodi break my heart", Oga Trudeau write inside tweet.

"[We want] to collectively collaborate in a way that we can all heal together, praying together and looking at what that healing journey is going to look like", Chief Casimir said.

The Kamloops Indian Residential School operated from 1890 until 1978 and was the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system. "To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths", Casimir said.

"The most significant, relevant records in the BC Archives are those of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the religious order that operated the school", Muzyka said in a statement. "It's our history and it's something we've always had to fight to prove".

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

Upper Nicola Band Chief Harvey McLeod attended the school from 1966 to 1968. "We look forward to providing updates as they become available". "It's a secret, or it's something we knew that may have happened there, but we had no evidence".


Kamloops Indian Residential School na im big pass for di residential system. The federal government took over administration of the school from the Catholic Church in 1969 using the building to house students who attended other schools in Kamloops, until it was closed on July 31, 1978. In 1918, a government official who inspected the school reported his "suspicion that the vitality of the children is not sufficiently sustained from a lack of nutritious food".

The Crown-Indigenous relations' ministers said in a statement that the discovery is a reminder of the harms families and survivors continue to suffer.

The Tk'emlúps te Secwepemc Nation said it was engaging with the coroner and reaching out to the home communities whose children attended the school.

"It is said that once you know the truth, you can not un-know it".

Justin Trudeau said in a message posted to social media that the discovery is "a painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter of our country's history".

She adds she is grateful for support offered by other First Nations.


Manny Jules, who was chief of the Tk'emlups for 16 years, said he wants an apology from the Catholic Church for its role in operating residential schools across the country.

Back in 1910, the principal said that the government did not provide enough money to properly feed the students, while in 1924, a portion of the school rebuilt after it was destroyed by a fire. That's why we have to have trauma-informed supports that are culturally safe.

Teegee said he has been meeting with Indigenous leaders from across B.C.to decide what steps to take next.

"This particular event may be seen as historical but it's also a continuous trend, I would say, of this power imbalance, if you would, that creates these issues for First Nations people".

"This is the reality of the genocide that was, and is, inflicted upon us as Indigenous peoples by the colonial state", UBCIC Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said.

In 2008, di Canada goment formally apologise for di system.


Prof. Nicole Schabus, of the law faculty 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.

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