Canada's Dirty Secret-Genocide 215 Children's Bodies Found in Residential School in Kamloops
The remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, were discovered on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. The remains were discovered using a radar specialist, who will be continuing to complete a survey of the school's grounds, according to ABC News.
On June 2, 2015, a long awaited Truth and Reconciliation Commission report was released. At least 6,000 aboriginal children died while in the residential school system, says Justice Murray Sinclair, the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Justice Sinclair, who has been tasked with studying the legacy of the residential schools, says that the figure is just an estimate and is likely much higher. Residential schools were established in the 19th century, and the last ones closed in 1996.
Residential schools were "an integral part of a conscious policy of cultural genocide" against the country's Indigenous population, according to a Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report in 2015. The system was created to separate Aboriginal youths from their families and "indoctrinate children" into a new culture, the report said, with the system in place for over a century -- the last such school closed in the 1990s. The report detailed many instances of physical, and sexual abuse not to mention neglect at the institutions.
Indigenous leaders and experts in British Columbia are calling for the protection of sites of former residential schools, warning that the bodies of 215 children found in Kamloops, B.C., likely represent just a small portion of the thousands more who died while the schools were in operation.
According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada:
“The Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement has identified 139 residential schools. (Despite the fact that the agreement is titled the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the lives of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people were all touched by these schools.)
This does not represent the full number of residential schools that operated in Canada. In particular, it excludes any school that operated without federal government support. There were residential schools that were run solely religious orders or provincial governments (or in some partnership between the two.) Furthermore, many of the concerns that have been raised about residential schools in terms of the treatment of students have also been raised about day schools that were operated for Aboriginal students with the support of the federal and provincial governments as well as by religious organizations.”
The true number of residential schools that were allowed to operate in Canada may never be known. In addition, this represents an issue, as those responsible for this barbaric cultural genocide may never be held to account. This is unacceptable.
For instance, in Manitoba, there is a list of recognized residential schools. Since being closed, the Provincial Government has taken it upon themselves to allow the private sale of much of the land these schools were operated upon. Many, with children being buried on site.
In a June 1, 2021 article, the CBC reported, "The remains of more than 100 children are buried on the site of the old residential school in Brandon, MB. A woman whose family members died at a Manitoba residential school as children and are buried in unmarked graves beneath what's now a campground and RV park near Brandon Man., She says immediate action should be taken to buy back the land and protect the area."
"These are children, these are bodies, this is a grave site and nobody cares, and the fact that people are vacationing on the bodies of our ancestors, of children, is shocking," said Jennifer Rattray
Her great aunt and uncle are buried near what is left of the Brandon Indian residential School.
Research done in 2015 suggested there were children buried along the river near the residential school, and Rattray says research completed in the following years shows the bodies of 54 students are buried at what's now the Turtle Crossing Campground on the northwestern outskirts of Brandon, along the Assiniboine River, southwest of the former school site.
"Children from various First Nations were forcibly brought here, many perished and for reasons unknown were not returned home for proper burial," said Chief Jennifer Bone of Sioux Valley Dakota Nation.
In a statement released Tuesday, Bone said research has revealed a possible third site and more graves on a portion of the school property the First Nation owns. "Our investigation has identified 104 potential graves in all three cemeteries, and that only 78 are accountable through cemetery burial records," Bone said.
This is a photo of all that remains at the site of the Residential School. How many more bodies will be discovered nationwide, and why hasn't there been an effort made to examine the gravesite, to determine what the cause of death was for all these children?
It wasn't until June 11, 2008 that a statement of apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools was delivered by then Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper made a Statement of Apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools, on behalf of the Government of Canada.
Following the apology, and with the support of the Assembly of First Nations and Inuit organizations, former residential school students took the federal government and the churches to court. Their cases led to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history. The agreement sought to begin repairing the harm caused by residential schools. Aside from providing compensation to former students, the agreement called for the establishment of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada with a budget of $60-million over five years. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has a mandate to learn the truth about what happened in the residential schools and to inform all Canadians about what happened in the schools. The Commission will document the truth of what happened by relying on records held by those who operated and funded the schools, testimony from officials of the institutions that operated the schools, and experiences reported by survivors, their families, communities and anyone personally affected by the residential school experience and its subsequent impacts. A huge task to undertake, given the sheer number of those affected by the genocide. It is still unknown the number of children killed in these barbaric schools by the church and government.
Cultural genocide is not new in Canada. It has a very sordid past that needs to be addressed.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Pope Francis in May of 2017 for an apology for the Roman Catholic's part in the genocide. Trudeau stated,
"I told him how important it is for Canadians to move forward on real reconciliation with the indigenous peoples and I highlighted how he could help by issuing an apology," Mr Trudeau told reporters after meeting the pope.
He said he had invited the pontiff to make the apology in Canada.
The Vatican did not comment on Mr Trudeau's request, it confirmed the talk was "cordial" and lasted about 36 minutes. It said the conversation "focused on the themes of integration and reconciliation, as well as religious freedom and current ethical issues" but did not mention an apology directly.
Mr Trudeau also said he spoke with the Pope about a subject dear to both of them: the importance of stopping climate change.
Now that another 215 children have been discovered, PM Justin Trudeau is again asking the Pope for an apology. Why don't you start at home Justin?
Where is Justin Trudeau's apology for the part his father played, and his role in the genocide? After all, PM Pierre-Elliot Trudeau was one of 9 Canadian Prime Minister's DIRECTLY responsible for the genocide. That happened on his watch.
For years, Trudeau Sr., a Jesuit advocated for the abolition of the Indian Act and the integration of Indigenous people into society. The White Paper was proposed in 1969 by Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Jean Chrétien and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. The policy proposed to eliminate Indian Status, incorporate First Nations under provincial government responsibilities, and impose land decisions, notions of private property and economic agendas on Indigenous communities. The backlash to the 1969 The White Paper was monumental, leading not only to its withdrawal in 1970, but to a wave of activism, academic work and court decisions over the next five decades.
At a conference in 1984, at a First Ministers' conference on Aboriginal Constitutional Matters, through which then-Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau refused Indigenous people the right to self-govern stated, "In 50 years from now, in what way will you be integrated? I don't say assimilated, I say integrated," he said at the conference.
In footage of the conference he also appears to be ridiculing Indigenous beliefs, customs and rituals. You can also see future PM Jean Chretien looking on with disgust at the First Nations People.
"Are you going to pray every morning in public?" he asks the Indigenous leaders on one day of the conference, before instructing everyone in the room to pray to their own gods, then saying his own Christian prayers out loud over top the Indigenous ones. “Going back to the creator doesn’t help very much," he also said at the conference, during talks about land ownership. "So he gave you a title. But did he draw on the land where your mountain stopped and someone else’s began?” Source, Dancing around the Table a 1988 film.
And his son, the king of cultural appropriation, in 2016 decided to celebrate Aboriginal Day by wearing an original buckskin jacket that was owned by his own racist father. I'm sure it was appreciated, message sent.
He was also given an honorary name while being honored by the Tsuut'ina First Nation near Calgary, Alberta after Justin Trudeau called for committing to a national inquiry on missing and murdered indigenous women. He was given the name "The one who keeps trying." Although a step in the right direction, I will reserve my judgement for now. He is the very definition of cultural appropriation, and seems to have a costume for every occasion.
And what of the British Monarchy, and their role in this genocide? On July 3, 2010 protestors in Winnipeg, and Toronto planned to confront the "Queen of England" aka Elizabeth Windsor with a letter asking that she identify the fate of the aboriginal children under her care. In addition, for many years, a statement made by William Arnold Combes had been scoffed and deemed "ridiculous" and a "conspiracy" about the Kamloops and Mission Indian Residential schools, which were both run by the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Combes reported the following:
"Statement of William Arnold Combes:
I am an Interior Salish spirit dancer and am 58 years old. I live in Vancouver, Canada.
I am a survivor of the Kamloops and Mission Indian residential schools, both run by the Roman Catholic church. I suffered terrible tortures there at the hands especially of Brother Murphy, who killed at least two children. I witnessed him throw a child off a three story balcony to her death. He put me on a rack and broke some of my bones, in the Kamloops school basement, after I tried running away.
I also saw him and another priest burying a child in the school orchard one night.
In September 1964 when I was 12 years old, I was an inmate at the Kamloops school and we were visited by the Queen of England and Prince Phillip. I remember it was strange because they came by themselves, no big fanfare or nothing. But I recognized them and the school principal told us it was the Queen and we all got given new clothes and good food for the first time in months the day before she arrived.
The day she got to the school, I was part of a group of kids that went on a picnic with the Queen and her husband and school officials, down to a meadow near Dead Man's Creek. After awhile, I saw the Queen leave that picnic with ten children from the school, and those children never returned. We never heard anything more about them and never saw them again even when we were older. They were all from around there but they all vanished.
The group that disappeared was seven boys and three girls, in age from six to fourteen years old. I don't remember their names, just an occasional first name like Cecilia and there was an Edward.
What happened was also witnessed by my friend George Adolph, who was 11 years old at the time and a student there too." Knowing what is known about the Royal Family, why this was not given the attention it deserved, is incredulous. It would not be the first scandal to rock the Royal Family, and the more discovered about the Royal Family, and their connections to the likes of Jimmy Saville, Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein the more credible and believable it becomes. And since the discovery of 215 children were found on the site of that very Residential School, a full investigation needs to happen. Now.
In the 1970's, the Queen was a very active ruler of the Canadian Peoples.
In fact, it is not the first time a dead body has been found on Royal Property. In 2012, London police discovered the body of an unidentified woman in the pond fronting Kensington Palace. Sandringham House, at the heart of the rural estate, is where the royal family traditionally gather to celebrate Christmas. It’s been the private home of four generations of British monarchs since 1862, and is one of two private residences used by the queen. Police did not say what caused her death, but said detectives are “investigating the murder.” There has been no further update in relation to this body found.
My sincere hope is a proper investigation be conducted at each site of the Residential schools, country wide. It's past due.