First Nation said that 215 children’s remains were discovered buried at a defunct B.C. residential school.

B.C. residential school
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The Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation said Thursday that preliminary findings from a search of the grounds at the former Kamloops Indian Residential school have revealed the remains of 215 children buried at the site.

They said the remains were discovered in Kamloops, B.C.’s southern Interior, last weekend.

According to a press release, Tk’emlups te Secwépemc engaged a ground-penetrating radar specialist to do the work, and their language and culture department reviewed the project to ensure it was done in a culturally appropriate and respectful manner. The press announcement did not name the company or individual responsible for the job, nor did it say how it was performed.

Tk’emlups te Secwépemc stated they are taking the “required actions,” which include working with the BC Coroners Service, contacting the students’ families, safeguarding the bodies, and working with museums to uncover records of the fatalities.

The Kamloops Indian Residential School operated from 1890 to 1969, when the federal government took over from the Catholic church and converted it into a day school, which it remained until 1978.

According to Casimir, up to 500 pupils could have been enrolled at any given time, with students coming from First Nations communities all around British Columbia and beyond.

Too far, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) has recognized the names of almost 4,100 children who died while attending a residential school or have information about them. Although the actual number of children who died while at residential schools is unknown, the TRC claims that a considerable proportion of Indigenous children who were placed there never came home.

Marc Miller, the federal minister of Indigenous Services, stated in a tweet Thursday evening that he has reached out to Casimir to give his assistance. Carolyn Bennett, the federal minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, said in a tweet that the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is open for former students and those seeking help.