Canada First Nation to release findings on discovery of remains at site of former residential school
First Nation considering whether to excavate unmarked graves at former Kamloops residential school
The apple orchard near the Kamloops Indian Residential School was chosen for a search for unmarked graves because a rib bone and tooth had previously been found in the area, and school survivors recalled digging graves for classmates, the local First Nation revealed at a press conference Thursday. “We are not here for retaliation. We are here for truth telling,” said Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimir. “We seek peace and knowing, as soon as possible.
Nearly two months after the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation sparked a national reckoning — when it announced it had discovered the buried remains of an estimated 215 children on the grounds of a former residential school — its leaders say they will release their detailed report on the findings on Thursday.
B.C. Catholic bishop calls for patience amid waves of church burnings, vandalism
Gregory Bittman, the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nelson, asks people to wait for detailed analyses following the discovery of hundreds of unmarked grave sites around former residential schools in B.C. and Saskatchewan.Bishop Gregory Bittman of the Diocese of Nelson — who oversees Roman Catholic churches across the Kootenays and the Okanagan region — made the plea a week after 182 unmarked grave sites were discovered in the vicinity of a former residential school near Cranbrook, B.C.
The First Nation, near Kamloops, B.C., announced it will publicly unveil the results from its ground-penetrating radar scans, which have since inspired many other Indigenous communities to seek out the technology themselves, and have renewed long-standing calls for justice.
The release being planned this week will include a "briefing on the ground-penetrating radar work undertaken," as well as "next steps" for the First Nation. It will also include statements from survivors of the institution.
The Kamloops Indian Residential School, run by a Catholic order, was once the largest such institution in Canada.
Video: Former B.C. residential school site to be searched (Global News)
Soon after the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc ground-penetrating radar findings, Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan revealed it had found 751 unmarked graves on the site of the Marieval Indian Residential School, the last such Canadian institution to close in 1997. Other communities have since confirmed their own such tragic findings.
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More than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend the institutions from the 1870s until the late 1990s, and many were abused physically and sexually, forced to learn English and violently prevented from practising their cultural traditions and languages.
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its report after cross-country hearings that heard months of testimony.
The commission concluded that at least 4,100 of the Indigenous children forced to attend the church-run institutionsbut that half of the deaths had no recorded cause; one-third of the deaths were recorded without even a name. Indigenous experts say the number is likely much higher.
Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc said it will host a public live stream and event to release the full findings — titled "KIRS Le Estcwéý (The Missing)" — on Thursday at 9 a.m. on its.
B.C. helps fund searches for Indigenous remains .
VANCOUVER — The B.C. government says it will provide immediate funding to 21 First Nation communities to help with searches for human remains at former residential schools or hospitals. Murray Rankin, the minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation, said on Tuesday that each community can receive up to $475,000 as it carries out searches, planning, technical work and archival research, while also engaging with elders, survivors and other First Nations that have an interest in an area.