The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3, were also found at the site CanadaMy BiggestNative Residential school, in what the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Described as a reminder of an “embarrassing chapter” in the country’s history.
More than 150,000 Early Nations As part of their assimilation program in Canadian society, children from the 19th century to the 1970s were required to attend state-funded Christian schools.
The children were forced to convert to their religion Christianity, Are not allowed to speak their native languages, and many were beaten and verbally abused. A maximum of 6,000 people are thought to have died.
The remains were confirmed by ground penetrating radars, Rozan Kazimir, head of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation, said in a press release on Friday.
Ms. Casimir added that more bodies could still be found in the Kamloops Indian Residential School grounds. British Columbia continues
In a statement at twitter“The news of the former Camelops residential school breaks my heart – it is a painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter in our country ‘s history,” Mr Trudeau said.
In 2008, the Canadian government formally apologized to Parliament and acknowledged that physical and sexual harassment was rampant in schools.
Indigenous heritage leaders cite abuse and isolation from schools as the main reason for the prevalence of alcoholism and drug addiction in their communities.
A 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission report found that at least 3,200 children lost their lives to abuse and neglect, with reports of at least 51 deaths at Camelops School between 1915 and 1963 alone.
Commenting on the discovery, British Columbia Prime Minister John Hurgan said he was “terrified and heartbroken” by the news, calling it a catastrophe of “unimaginable proportions” that highlighted the violence and consequences of the residential school system. .
The Camelops School operated between 1890 and 1969 when the federal government began operations there. Catholic Church And operated as a day school until it closed in 1978.
Ms. Casimir said the deaths were thought to be undocumented, but the local museum archive is now working with the Royal Columbia Royal Museum to see if a record of the deaths can be found.
“Given the size of the school, with a maximum of 500 students enrolling each time, we understand that this is a confirmed loss to the communities of the first nations,” he said in a previous press release shared late Thursday. “It affects all over British Columbia and beyond.”
He added that the authorities were trying to inform members of the community and the surrounding communities who have children attending school.
Additional Report by AP
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