Canada: Graves apparently discovered again on boarding school grounds

Status: 01/26/2022 3:39 p.m

More than 1000 graves of indigenous children in care have already been discovered in Canada – now an indigenous community has reported another find: 93 suspected graves were detected by radar on a former boarding school site.

Dozens of anonymous graves for indigenous children have apparently been discovered again in Canada. Indigenous community Williams Lake First Nation said 93 suspected graves were found using radar surveys on the site of a former boarding school in the west of the country.

Researchers studied an area of ​​14 hectares belonging to a former boarding school near Kamloops in western British Columbia. Thousands of children were housed in the facility from 1886 to 1981. It was run “by various religious sects” and mainly by Catholic missionaries on behalf of the Canadian government, it said.

Trudeau: “A lot of painful emotions”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the news of other possible graves brought “a lot of painful emotions back to the surface”. The thought of “the members of the community and those whose loved ones have never come home” breaks his heart, he wrote on Twitter.

At the beginning of January, the Canadian government had pledged funds amounting to the equivalent of 1.3 million euros to investigate the former boarding school premises. According to its own statements, the government has so far provided more than 80 million euros for the search for missing indigenous children and to commemorate them.

mistreatment and abuse

For months, Canada has been rocked by a scandal surrounding the historical treatment of its indigenous people. Since May, more than a thousand anonymous mass graves of indigenous children have been discovered near various boarding schools across the country. The finds caused horror across the country.

Since 1874, around 150,000 children in the country had been separated from their families and their culture and placed in church homes in order to force them to adapt to the white majority society. Many of them were mistreated in the homes or sexually abused. At least 4,000 children died, many of them from tuberculosis. According to the authorities, 4,000 to 6,000 children are still missing.

The last of these schools only closed in the 1990s. A national commission of inquiry described the treatment of indigenous children as “cultural genocide”.

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