Canadian Indigenous Community Discovers Remains of Boarding-School Students
In a shocking and horrifying discovery, a Canadian west-coast indigenous community uncovered the remains of more than 200 indigenous children it believes to have attended a state-run school. The case has reopened wounds about Canada’s historic mistreatment of indigenous people. The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation in the province of British Columbia found the remains through utilizing a ground-penetrating radar and surveying nearby territory where the school was once located. Political leaders have expressed their condolences to the indigenous community, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Mr. Trudeau has worked on reconciliation efforts with the country’s 1.7 million indigenous people, which he has allegedly made a priority since taking office. Indigenous Canadians make-up 5% of the total 38 million population and face higher rates of suicide, incarceration, and infant mortality. For more than a century, Canada’s residential school system has separated roughly 150,000 indigenous children from their families. While in the system, an estimated 4,100 children died of disease or accident. However, an inquiry into the system in 2015 found that the school system was akin to cultural genocide, stating that a complete death toll may never come to light as officials at the schools destroyed hundreds of records.