Remains of 215 children found at Canadian school

Canada mourns as remains of 215 children found at indigenous school
The Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia once housed 500 children. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: A mass grave containing the remains of 215 children has been found at a former residential school in Canada set up to assimilate indigenous people.

The children were the students at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia that closed in 1978.

The chief of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced the discovery on Thursday.

Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, said it was a “painful reminder” of a “shameful chapter of our country’s history”.

The First Nation is working with museum specialists and the coroner’s office to establish the timings and causes of the deaths, which are currently unknown.

The chief of the community in British Columbia’s city of Kamloops, Rosanne Casimir, said the preliminary finding represented an unthinkable loss that was never documented by the school’s administrators.

Canada’s residential schools were compulsory boarding schools run by the religious authorities ‍and government during the 19th and 20th Centuries with the aim of forcibly assimilating indigenous youth.

Kamloops Indian Residential School was the largest in the residential system. Opened under Roman Catholic administration in 1890, the school had as many as 500 students when enrolment peaked in the 1950s.

In 1969, the central government took over administration of the school, operating it as a residence for local students until 1978, when it was closed.

The Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation said the remains of the children were found with the help of a ground-penetrating radar during a survey of the school.

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