(Files by Brendan Pawliw-MyPGNow)
“This confirms a lot of the stories made by survivors.”
That’s according to BC Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Terry Teegee following the discovery of 215 children at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops.
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Report documented the deaths of at least 32-hundred children at these facilities.
Teegee told Vista Radio several First Nations leaders are now calling on governments to help search other former sites, to see if more bodies can be found.
“I know other first nations are looking for their children in Mi’kmaq territory in Nova Scotia and also to there has been a push from Saskatchewan with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. This is an important step because searching other schools are to look for those well over four thousand missing children, which was the conservative number identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and also within their recommendations to look at all the records to find these children.”
“You’ve got to realize this is over 100 years of genocidal policies that were imposed on Indigenous people so I really believe this is part of the healing process is to find these children that are missing. What is going on here is that this really confirms a lot of the stories from survivors that there were students here one day and then none of them were there the next and it confirms the oral history of survivors talking about different students who died at residential schools.”
The Lheidli T’enneh flag at City Hall will be lowered to half-mast today (Tuesday) and will stay that way for 215 days.
On Monday, the Alberta government is earmarking funding to find unmarked Indigenous graves of missing children.