Canada Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc to release final report on unmarked graves at former Kamloops 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.
Today, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation is set to present its final report on the unmarked grave sites found adjacent to the former Kamloops Indian Residential School — and to outline what comes next.
In May, the nation released a statement saying preliminary findings from a survey of the site by ground-penetrating radar, combined with previous knowledge and oral history, indicated 215 children had been buried at the site.
First Nation to release findings on discovery of remains at site of former residential school
The B.C. First Nation's ground-penetrating radar research has sparked a growing national outcry against abuses in the institutions and inspired other Indigenous groups to do their own searches.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 statement did not specify the company or individual involved in the survey or detail how the work was completed.
"To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths," Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir said in the statement.
"Some were as young as three years old. We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc is the final resting place of these children."
After the preliminary discovery, the nation said it was working with the BC Coroners Service, contacting the students' home communities, protecting the remains and working with museums to find records of these deaths.
Remains of 251 Indigenous children discovered in Kamloops BC
Editor's Note - This story was first published on May 31, 2021. This version corrects the use of the term "mass grave." Preliminary findings suggest that the remains were not identified as a mass grave. (ANNews) – Last week, in a gut-wrenching and triggering discovery, the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found buried at a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced the news on May 27, 2021 after the remains were found with the use of ground-penetrating radar.
The Kamloops Indian Residential School was in operation from 1890 to 1969, when the federal government took over administration from the Catholic Church to operate it as a residence for a day school, until it closed in 1978.
Up to 500 students would have been registered at the school at any given time, according to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR). Those children would have come from First Nations communities across B.C. and beyond.
Theestimates about 4,100 children died at residential schools in Canada, based on death records, but has said the true total is likely much higher.
‘Unthinkable circumstances’ led to children's deaths, but feelings mixed on how to move forward in Kamloops
As Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimer pushes for student records from the federal government and Catholic church for the Kamloops Indian Residential School, at least one survivor says the bodies of the children who lie in unmarked graves located at the site should not be disturbed. Evelyn Camille was one of three survivors who spoke at an event held July 15 as Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc revealed its findings from ground penetrating radar carried out May 21 to May 24 on the grounds of the residential school. Leadership also spoke of next steps the Nation would take.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission said large numbers of Indigenous children who were forcibly sent to residential schools never returned home.
In the wake of the preliminary discovery in Kamloops, theat a cemetery near the former Marieval Indian Residential School, which was in operation from 1899 to 1997.
Cowessess also usedto locate the grave sites earlier this month. It was not immediately clear if all the graves are connected to the residential school, which is located about 140 kilometres east of Regina.
Earlier this week, the Penelakut Tribe in B.C.'s Southern Gulf Islands announced thathave been found in the area, which was also once home to the Kuper Island Residential School. The tribe did not say how the graves were found, whether children's remains are suspected of being buried there or whether ground-penetrating radar was used.
The Williams Lake First Nation, located in the Cariboo region of the Central Interior region of B.C., is also, St Joseph's Mission, which is located a few kilometres from the nation's community core and operated as a residential school between 1886 and 1981.
Do you have information about unmarked graves, children who never came home or residential school staff and operations? Email your tips to CBC's new Indigenous-led team investigating residential schools:.
B.C. First Nation says more than 160 unmarked graves found .
The Penelakut Tribe in B.C.'s Southern Gulf Islands says it has found more than 160 "undocumented and unmarked" graves in the area, which was also once home to the Kuper Island Residential School. The school operated from 1890 to the 1970s on Penelakut Island, formerly known as Kuper Island. The Penelakut Tribe in B.C.'s Southern Gulf Islands says it has found more than 160 "undocumented and unmarked" graves in the area, which was also once home to the Ku The tribe informed neighbouring First Nations communities of the discovery in a newsletter posted online on Monday morning.