The remains of 215 children, as young as 3 years old, were found at the site of a former Indian boarding school in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. (Video screenshot)
The remains of 215 children, the youngest being 3 years old, were found buried at the site of an Indian residential school in Kamloops, Canada’s B.C. First Nations announced Thursday.
The large number of remains found at the site of Kamloops Indian Residential School was identified last weekend with the help of a ground-penetrating radar expert.
Rosanne Casimir, head of the First Nations (Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation), it was an incredible loss, with some children as young as 3 years old.
Casimir said that as far as they know, there is no official documentation of the deaths of the missing children and they are trying to figure out how to identify them and will issue a detailed report next month.
Canada’s residential school system, which used to forcibly separate Indian children from their families, was recognized as constituting cultural genocide after years of investigation, and the federal government formally apologized in 2008.
The residential school in Kamloops, which operated between 1890 and 1969, was once the largest residential school in Canada. Depending on the size of the school, it had up to 500 residential and academic students at any one time before the federal government took over the operation of the Catholic Church as a day school until it closed in 1978.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report on the boarding school more than five years ago. The nearly 4,000-page report detailed rape, abuse and other atrocities against Native children at these institutions, during which at least more than 4,100 people died during the school year, a figure not included in the remains found here.