It comes after the Tk'emlups te Secwépemc First Nation announced that ground-penetrating radar confirmed that the remains of 215 students from the Kamloops Indian Residential School are buried on its grounds. "We wish to ensure that our community members, as well as all home communities for the children who attended are duly informed".
While there have always been rumors of unmarked graves at schools, if the findings in a preliminary report presented to the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation this week are confirmed, it will be the first time a major burial site has been discovered.
One residential school survivor has had flashbacks about his time at the institution since the discovery.
Upper Nicola Band Chief Harvey McLeod attended the school from 1966 to 1968. "We hear really horrific stories about what happened and dealing with our people that had passed on, and what they were forced to do, to bury them".
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.
"I didn't want it to be just another Facebook post".
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"We had a knowing in our community that we were able to verify". The federal government took over administration of the school from 1969 to 1978, using the building as a residence for students attending other Kamloops schools.
The commission noted in its 2015 report that officials in 1918 believed children at the school were not being adequately fed, leading to malnutrition.
"It is said that once you know the truth, you can not un-know it".
In a tweet on Friday Trudeau called the news a "painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter of our country's history".
Bishop Joseph Nguyen expressed his "deepest sympathy" on behalf of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kamloops to Casimir and the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation.
John Horgan, the premier of British Columbia, said that he was "horrified and heartbroken" and that he supported the efforts of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc to bring to "light the full extent of this loss".
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"I got in real time to see the legacy of residential school up close and personal with my mom", Bell said.
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".
"I think we know in other communities, coast to coast to coast, they are asking for support and research", she said.
Unlike other religious groups that operated the residential schools, the Catholic Church has refused to formally apologize for abuses that occurred within them.
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