IPHCC Statement on Discovery of Mass Grave in Kamloops, BC.

by pmnationtalk on June 1, 2021319 Views

IPHCC Statement on Discovery of Mass Grave in Kamloops, BC.

May 31, 2021

Our hearts are heavy by the recent news from Secwépemc First Nation about the discovery of a mass grave on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. This past week, with the help of a ground penetrating radar specialist, an often spoken about but never documented loss came to light for the Tk’emlúps community, with the discovery of the remains of 215 children who were students at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

Tk’emlúps te Secwépeme Chief Rosanne Casimir said in a statement announcing the discovery that, “to our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths, with some as young as three years old”. Steps taken to confirm the ages of the children whose remains were found, were done so in the deepest respect and love for the lost children and their families, appreciating this location as the children’s final resting place.

This horrific news will have a significant impact on the Tk’emlúps community and all other Indigenous communities and families whose children attended residential schools. It brings to light for all Canadians, that the legacy of residential schools is not behind us, and that healing is still very much a part of everyday lives for many Indigenous peoples and communities.

Sadly, mass graves are associated with the legacy of residential schools, with an alleged 28 mass graves of children who died in Indian residential schools existing across the country. Within Ontario, there are reported to be seven mass graves with the most notable discovered in 2012, around the former site of the Mohawk Institute Indian residential school near Brantford, Ontario.

IPHCC calls on the Government of Canada to search all residential schools across the nation. All Indigenous children need to be brought home. #SearchAllResidentialSchools #EveryChildMatters

Tomorrow, June 1 marks the first day of National Indigenous History Month. This year, we encourage you to take the time to learn about the rich diversity of Indigenous people in Canada and the legacy of residential schools.

We will call upon our ancestral teachings and ceremonies as we support those emotionally impacted by this news, and the families and communities whose children attended residential schools, and especially to those whose children never came home.

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