Reaction to the discovery of remains on the site of a former B.C. residential school

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KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The remains of 215 children have been discovered at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. Here is some of the reaction to what was found:

"Knowing that children have went missing, their relations have went missing and never came home. There was always question about where. There had to be more to the story." — Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation.

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"The only thing that I can recall is that at the time we assumed that they ran away and they made it home." — Upper Nicola Band Chief Harvey McLeod, who spent two years as a boy at the Kamloops Indian Residential School

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"Though we knew that many children never returned home, and their families were left without answers, this confirmation brings a particular heaviness to our hearts and our spirits all throughout Secwépemculecw." — Judy Wilson, secretary-treasurer for the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

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"This is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. And it is a stark example of the violence the Canadian residential school system inflicted upon Indigenous Peoples and how the consequences of these atrocities continue to this day." — B.C. Premier John Horgan.

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“The loss of one child is unimaginable. The loss of 215 children found on the grounds of a residential school is a national tragedy.” — Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations in Saskatchewan.

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“Today, we are all reliving one of the darkest periods in our collective history." — Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs Organization in Manitoba.

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"The death of each and every one of these children is an irreplaceable loss for Indigenous families and represents the dark history that all of us must grapple with." — Interim B.C. Liberal Leader Shirley Bond.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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