In a tragic reminder of the horrific history of residential schools for indigenous people a grave for 215 First Nations people has been found near Kamloops BC.
The remains of 215 children have been found buried on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation said in a news release Thursday that the remains were confirmed last weekend with the help of a ground-penetrating radar specialist.
Casimir called the discovery an “unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.”
She said it’s believed the deaths are undocumented, although a local museum archivist is working with the Royal British Columbia Museum to see if any records of the deaths can be found.
Some of the children were as young as three, she said.
The school was once the largest in Canada’s residential school system.
“Given the size of the school, with up to 500 students registered and attending at any one time, we understand that this confirmed loss affects First Nations communities across British Columbia and beyond,” Casimir said in the release.
The chief said work to identify the site was led by the First Nation’s language and cultural department alongside ceremonial knowledge keepers, who made sure the work was done was in line with cultural protocols.
The leadership of the Tk’emlups community “acknowledges their responsibility to caretake for these lost children,” Casimir said.
Access to the latest technology allows for a true accounting of the missing children and will hopefully bring some peace and closure to those lives lost, she said in the release.
The reclamation work was paid for by a Pathway to Healing provincial government grant, she said.
Casimir said band officials are informing community members and surrounding communities that had children who attended the school.
“This is the beginning but, given the nature of this news, we felt it important to share immediately,” she said.
The First Nations Health Authority called the discovery of the children’s remains “extremely painful” and said in a website posting that it “will have a significant impact on the Tk’emlups community and in the communities served by this residential school.”
FNHL C.E.O. Richard Jock suggested the situation had the potential to affect First Nations people in BC and across the country.
“That this situation exists is sadly not a surprise and illustrates the damaging and lasting impacts that the residential school system continues to have on First Nations people, their families and communities,” Jock wrote in his web post.
The FNHA said immediate supports for Tk’emlups Nation have been identified through its Interior health team, and its teams are on standby to support further needs.
The agency said some of the supports currently available include the KUU-US Crisis Line, Tsow-Tun-Le-Lum Society and the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society.
The Kamloops school operated between 1890 and 1969. The federal government took over the operation from the Catholic Church to operate as a day school until it closed in 1978.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued its final report on residential schools more than five years ago. The nearly 4,000-page account details the harsh mistreatment inflicted on Indigenous children at the institutions, where at least 3,200 children died amid abuse and neglect.
One of many mass graves to be found around our indigenous children's concentration camps.
Here's more on the history of the residential school deaths in Kamloops. Previously, it was thought there were 50 deaths at the school according to the Truth and Reconcilation Commission. This suggests that similar undercounts of the number of deaths occurred elsewhere in the residential school system.
'Kill the Indian in the child'. Canadian genocide. In practice it appears frequently they killed both. In other cases, such as the elder/warrior Wolverine, of Gustafsen Lake fame, thankfully they failed miserably. Sometimes oppression really does breed resistance. In Palestine and closer to home.
Banality of evil.
"Catherine Billy, Secwepemc from so-called Adams Lake Indian Reserve near Chase BC watching as they took her daughter Irene Billy off to Kamloops Indian Residential School. Irene Billy became one of the strong Secwepemc land defenders who was arrested fighting for Secwepemc land."
We need to immediately fund a search of the grounds of all of the institutions we know of and just generally live up to our responsibility for the decimation of the communities who were traumatized and destroyed by the loss of their children. It is unimaginable. An unholy alliance between church and state.
You might want to check to see how much the Catholic Church is engrained in significant sectors of Canadian society. Take for example the school system and the health care system where the big bucks are spent, and the brainwashing is done.
How much longer is Canada going to treat its minorities like shit before it addresses the fucks in the Catholic Church and other similar type organizations? Who else is sick of these symbolic do nothing jestures like lowering a flag which do nothing to actually address the abuse of our minorities? So much for Canada's reputation as one of the more healthy societies on the planet. But seriously when is enough, enough?
It's time to give the Catholic Church the boot!
The minority in question is an internationally protected people and nation that Canada has, without treaty of agreement or purchase invaded, occupied and despoiled. The genocide of the residential schools could not have been committed without a usurpation of jurisdiction from the sovereign Secwepemc nation, and other Indigenous nations in rightful possession. At no time did Canada have any legal or constitutional right to assume jurisdicition over Indigenous nations such as the Secwepemc, 'beyond the treaty frontier.' The ecocide and genocide which was and is still being inflicted upon Indigenous peoples, their lands and resources, occurs under this orginal sin of an illegal occupation by Canada and its various assigns. Usurpation as genocide remains the problem.
@ 13: 40 https://youtu.be/6Byv034Ciss
The Circle Game: Shadow and Substance in the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada
What if no liberating armies invaded the territory, stormed over the draconian State? No compassionate throng broke down the doors to dungeons to free those imprisoned within? No collective outcry of humanity arose as stories of the State's abuses were recounted? And no court of World Opinion seized the State's leaders and held them in judgment as their misdeeds were chronicled? What if none of this happened?
What if, instead, with the passage of time the World came to accept the State's actions as the rightful and lawful policies of a sovereign nation having to deal with creatures that are less than fully human?
In what follows, we will agree that the Standard Account, as popular and as widely accepted as it may be in the public at large and in Aboriginal circles, is a pernicious, misleading and immoral myth (more correctly , an interconnected series of myths), whose important truths are buried under a singularly malevolent purpose..."
Calls for accountability after remains of 215 children found at former Kamloops residential school (radio)
"We talk to Angela Sterritt, a CBC reporter based in Vancouver; and Cindy Blackstock, executive director at First Nations Child and Family Caring Society."
How about if we stop the genocide against this particular nation whose territory the remains have been discovered on. These defenders of the same territory that Canada is driving a pipeline through with public money are currently on trial for opposing land theft and the ongoing cultural genocide of their nation. But this is Canada so lets have another fucking commission and talk about it again until it leaves the news cycle and we can go back to condemning our enemies for human rights abuses.
Here is what Canada is currently doing to this indigenous nation. Blood is still on our hands to this day.
Here is a great video that says it all. Repeal the Indian Act tomorrow not next week.
The town I grew up in- Salem, Oregon- is the home of the Chemawa Indian School- where Native Americans and Alaska Natives were sent to be forcibly drained of any vestiges of their cultures and theirselves.
In Sitka, Alaska- a short plane ride away from Juneau, where I lived for 33 years- is Mount Edgecombe High School, which played the same toxic role for Alaska Natives for decades after World War II
It should be noted that, after the early Seventies, both schools abandoned their De-Indianizing mission and started encouraging the preservation and revival of traditional cultures, but the heritage remains.
I'm now horrified to have to ask...will they need to start looking for mass graves at THOSE schools? At every OTHER "residential school" or "boarding school" for Indigenous/First Nations people throughout what the settlers call "North America"?
Ottawa has millions still to spend on missing children and cemetery searches
"...It was not until its final budget as a majority government that the Trudeau Liberals set aside funds to implement all the Calls to Action on missing children and burial information. In Budget 2019, the government set aside $33.8 million to be spent over 3 years to implement 5 of 6 CTAs on missing children and burials for which it was responsible.
The CTAs that are still outstanding call on the federal government to lead the way in searching for and identifying residential school cemeteries; to find and inform families and deceased children's whereabouts and arrange for appropriate commemoration, and, if requested, reburial; to create a plan for ongoing maintenance and repair of cemeteries; and to do all that according to principles established by Indigenous communities..."
"Let's not forget that the Indian Residential Schools are part of the foundation of Canada's genocidal, colonial, racist structures and systems, because Canada's a settler-state and Canada's politicians are good at stealth and deception."
And now we'll be forced to watch their nauseating virtue-signalling and performative demonstrations of how deeply they care about the sins of colonialism past even as they continue to practice their own evil machinations of ecocide and genocide today.
Part of this tragedy is that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission asked for $1.5 million to identify residential school grave locations and were turned down by the Conservatives in 2009. After they were elected in 2015 the Liberals also did nothing to help with this. The money for this burial investigation in Kamloops came from came from the BC NDP's Pathways to Healing program, even though the provinical government was not responsible for the residential schools.
What did Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett say about this? Blame the Conservatives, they didn't fund it. This is after six years of the Liberals not funding it. When you live in a glass house, don't throw stones.
As Katherine Ainsley Morton, a Ph.D. candidate at Memorial University Newfoundland and a researcher working on anti-colonial research on residential schools, argued "there should be “less talk” from the federal government and more “action.” "
And even now "when pressed for details about precisely what Ottawa is prepared to offer by way of support to find, identify and memorialize thousands of children who died at residential schools, Trudeau remained vague. “There is obviously more to do and I think there will be more that we will do,” he said.
The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Perry Bellegarde, called funding for a national residential school student death register from the Liberal government "woefully short of what is needed".
"They took our kids to take LAND, Now no one wants to remember that it is the LAND"
The genocide is ongoing....
Yes, but Canada will always be sorry...
I have been annoyed by something that I find odd. If saying "All Lives Matter" instead of "Black Lives Matter" is at minimum a denial of systemic racism if not semi-overt racism, why are all progressive Canadian's, even some indigenous ones, posting "Every Child Matters" instead of the far more focused "Indigenous Children Matter."
Colonisation? (referring to Indigenous people who post that). Of course all children matter, but it is important to focus on the denial of importance and even of life itself.
I think the intent of the Indigenous campaign "Every Child Matters" is pretty clear. I think it's a great campaign!
Thanks for all the images. Now I can safely say All Lives Matter without anyone calling me a racist.
Starting this year every September 30 will be a federal statutory holiday called "National Day for Truth and Reconciliation." We'll be seeing a lot of orange shirts that day!
Yeah. People should know that it's supported by Indigenous people.
NDNS: 'How about withdrawing the lawsuits, clean drinking water and land back?'
FEDS: 'Best I can do is lowered flags and organge t-shirts.'
Yes. Looked at within context, "All Lives Matter" was pretty clearly intended by white supremacists as a rebuttal to "Black Lives Matter". It was a variation of the old "reverse racism" ploy.
Had Black activists been the first people to use "All Lives Matter", the message would have been different, ie. "Hey, listen, white society, OUR lives matter as well!". That, I think, is more what's going on with "Every Child Matters".
Interesting point VOTD because like kropotkin, I felt it was very reminiscent of the back-handed racist "All Lives Matter". I still find it less than satisfying and feel like it dilutes the travesty and horror that we are dealing with.
As one whose family has been impacted by residential school, I am supportive of Orange Shirt Day, I just wish it was called something else, something that would remind people of the horrors of residential school, and how those impacts reverberate across our communities across the country. We are still suffering from those impacts, and the news of those children's bodies being found in a mass grave has wounded our hearts once again.
Orange Shirt Day proclaims that every child matters, and of course they do. In a civilized humane society, this would be a given. It would be so for the elders also. But we have witnessed that in Canada this is not so. Orange Shirt Day, in my opinion has become commercialized, with shirts being offered each year in different designs and slogans. If this brings awareness and, more importantly, compassion, that may make that day worthwhile. Orange Shirt Day is not a day for celebrations, posing, or selfies. It is a day in which we should reflect on this country's colonial, violent, and genocidal assaults against our children, and by this means, are an assault on our families and communities.
And you know what, I am tired of hearing about reconciliation and that “we share in your grief”, that “we stand with you on this path”, that “we are heartbroken”. I am tired of empty words. This time it is genocide we are talking about. Genocide! And will Canada bring the perpetrators to justice? I don’t think so, unless the people of Canada demand that it be done. Orange Shirt Day has been around for some years, but I don't think it made one bit of difference to how our children are treated by your governments and your institutions.
The news about the Kamloops residential school appears to be making an impact, but I fear that the feelings expressed by Canadians in general, and governments in particular will fade from the news and fade from your minds. We will not see any change in this regard. The only hope I have is that our nations realize that change can only come from ourselves. As for myself, I have had enough. I will never again trust any of the institutions, supported by your government, either in law, health, education or social welfare. I am done.
I raised my thoughts in an indigenous issues FB page that I follow and got positive feedback from some of the indigenous people. I think someone started a snowball without thinking and it is hard to walk it back.
"Unmarked graves are rarely unmarked by accident." D.H. Justice
I have this nightmare vision of kids' bodies being shovelled into a grave with other kids' bodies already in there. Who could do this? And no ceremony of any kind, no prayers, no gifts to help these spirits on their journey home, no remembrances from their parents and family, who were likely not even told. No feast, no fire, no nothing. This is the pain that our people across the country are feeling. We are very respectful of our dead, we come together as a community when someone dies, everyone helps. This discovery is heart-breaking, and there will be more revelations to come, of what has been done to our children.
The next time a Canadian leader gets up to address the General Assembly of the UN to excoriate some other country over human rights abuses, all those in the audience should stand up and turn their backs on the speaker.
Where are the 266 sanctimonious MP's now with their genocide claims.
Yes, and here's why...
Reckoning with genocide and the denialism of the Canadian state
Tamara Starblanket interviewed here by Aziz Choudry, a writer and academic based in Johannesburg, South Africa about Canada's history of genocide, the failures of reconciliation and the imperative of declonization.
'...One day I began to question and scrutinize this genocidal trauma and its source on a much larger scale. While undertaking post-secondary and legal studies, I examined the root causes. I directed my investigation at government oppression and the illegitimate claiming of the underlying title of our lands, waters, mountains, airspace and minerals.
Until we understand the full implications of the state's intent to destroy our Nations, we will continue to suffer the far-reaching catastrophic consequences of this process. My legal research reframes the Canadian state and society as the predator body politic. Canada is a perpetrator of the crime of genocide. For over 127 years and counting, the state continues to remove our children..."
In Canada although only 10% of children are indigenous, they represent over half of all children in government foster 'care' - more than those previously imprisoned in Canada's Indian Residential School system. More than ever, Canada is still 'killing the Indian in the child'.
'This school is a jail house': Documents reveal the horrors of Residential Schools
"It's easy to forget that Indian Residential Schools were once a cause celebre among Canadian progressives..."
No Cooperation, no consent: Missionary Oblates who ran Kamloops school won't release records
"The federal government and churches have fought for more than 20 years over making records available to groups trying to identify residential school victims..."
Why? Make it happen now!
This is so important and needs to be shouted from the rooftops in every place across this country. Condolences are fine but as we have seen over and over again, fleeting. Of course we should feel sorrow but we should also acknowledge shame. Regardless of when we arrived to this country, we should feel incredible shame for these acts as well as immense compassion for all those families who lost their children,culture and language, and connection to the generations before them, and who suffered immensely for countless generations and live with multi-generational PTSD. I genuinely appoligize to you, your family and your community zazzo. I am so very sorry for what we have done and continue to do.
The community that many now want to "bring to justice" is the Sisters of Ste-Anne from Québec made up of many dedicated women who did not murder 215 children under their care. These children might have also died in the reserves. In those days many children died young. I have two uncles who died before 5 years old. Can you compare them to Anne Frank ?
Good to see word about Canada's Indigenous genocide is getting out to the world, since it has now become obvious that Canada itself, like Apartheid Israel, will change nothing except perhaps its 'perception management' campaign unless forced to do so. No wonder Ottawa and Tel Aviv are so close.
'Genocidal' Legacy: Remains of 215 Indigenous children found at Canadian school
"In an appalling discovery in Canada, the remains of hundreds of children as young as 3 have been found at a former school for indigenous students..."
Don't mess with the Catholic Church.