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Remains found at Kamloops residential school 'not an isolated incident,' Indigenous experts and leaders warn

daftandbarmy

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This is appalling.

I've driven by that facility many times on the way to and from exercises in the area and had no idea, of course. May they rest in peace....




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.

Linc Kesler, director of the University of British Columbia's First Nations House of Learning, said it's only a matter of time before the same type of technology used by the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation reveals more physical evidence of the horrors of residential schools across Canada.

"It's absolutely not an isolated incident," Kesler said.

On Thursday, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation said preliminary findings from a ground-penetrating radar survey uncovered the remains.

 

FSTO

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A horrible tragedy for sure. I'm pretty sure the conditions within the dorms were breeding grounds for all sorts of communicable diseases that would roar through a place like that. Coupled with an indifferent bureaucracy and disdain for the indigenous community its no wonder there would be an over-abundance of death there.

I recall walking through the grave yard in Revelstoke and was amazed at the number of young children, and women buried with their baby. A lot of the markers were pre WWI but many others was from the 20's and early 30's. People today don't realize how dangerous it was a 100 years ago to be a young child or a woman giving birth.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Eaglelord17

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Take a walk in any old cemetery and look at the gravestones, not very many lived a long and healthy life. Lots of child deaths, mothers, young adults, industrial accidents, horse accidents, diseases, etc. The reason there was so many boomers was because historically a family would have had 6 or 7 kids and only 3-4 would make it to adult hood, modern medicine made it so pretty much all of them lived and we have since adjusted accordingly.

Most of those children who died were of Tuberculosis. In 1815 in England, 1 in 4 people would die of that disease. It was a very serious issue and it wasn't really sorted out until 1946 when a actual cure was made. Modern facilities (running water, effective heating systems, etc.) helped reduce the prevalence of it in the early 20th century, but until 1946 it was still very serious if you did catch it.
 

Kilted

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Reading some of the comments online there are some people who think that they were murdered and buried in a mass grave. I'm not sure that this really should be a shocking discovery. We knew that there was potentially a couple thousand children who had died without their deaths being tracked. It seems odd that there wasn't some form of record kept of the locations of the bodies, if for nothing else to prevent them from being buried on top of each other. I'm surprised that a search didn't occur earlier.
 

Haggis

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Reading some of the comments online there are some people who think that they were murdered and buried in a mass grave.
I can accept a child dying of natural causes. It happens even today and a few of these souls may have gone that way. For the remainder, though, whether they died from murder, neglect, mistreatment, illness or suicide, they were in the care of the church and state and this should not have happened.
 

Colin Parkinson

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You can see the bandwagon jumping for people, organisations and parties to get their "Woke PC medal" and brownie points on this issue. The issue has been known for years and I bet people knew about the graveyard in the area and likely extent of it, which was what led to the radar survey. There are a lot of terrible things done in the residential school system or happened in them and you can bet some of the issues were not just the staff. Now what would be good is to find out what was the average school population at different times and compare the child mortality rate to the average of the time to see how big of a difference it was. Just the rough math is 2.7 kids a year died at the school. Wiki indicates that the school held around 400 students at one period, conditions were less than ideal Kamloops Indian Residential School - Wikipedia

The residential school system is a perfect example of 'Political Correct thinking" run amuck. While we are aghast at what happened today, these were promoted by the same type of people then, that are pushing PC stuff today.
 

Quirky

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So what happens now. Memorials, more half-masses flags, monetary settlements, searching of more past-residential schools? What’s the end goal here besides more “outrage”, sending thoughts and prayers and apologies from governments on behalf of things that happened decades ago. The heads on TV are talking a lot without saying anything.
 
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daftandbarmy

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So what happens now. Memorials, more half-masses flags, monetary settlements, searching of more past-residential schools? What’s the end goal here besides more “outrage”, sending thoughts and prayers and apologies from governments on behalf of things that happened decades ago. The heads on TV are talking a lot without saying anything.

Yes, yes it seems so:

Days after children's remains reported, Trudeau says more help coming for residential school survivors​



"Our government will continue to engage with the communities on the development of culturally appropriate approaches to identifying these children, locating burial sites and commemorating and memorializing those who died or went missing attending these schools."

 

lenaitch

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Take a walk in any old cemetery and look at the gravestones, not very many lived a long and healthy life. Lots of child deaths, mothers, young adults, industrial accidents, horse accidents, diseases, etc. The reason there was so many boomers was because historically a family would have had 6 or 7 kids and only 3-4 would make it to adult hood, modern medicine made it so pretty much all of them lived and we have since adjusted accordingly.

Most of those children who died were of Tuberculosis. In 1815 in England, 1 in 4 people would die of that disease. It was a very serious issue and it wasn't really sorted out until 1946 when a actual cure was made. Modern facilities (running water, effective heating systems, etc.) helped reduce the prevalence of it in the early 20th century, but until 1946 it was still very serious if you did catch it.

My dad was born in 1914. His mom died two days later 'from childbirth' Two other siblings died young; one I think around 3 and the other in her late teens or early 20s (might have the Spanish Flu). Life was much more precarious back then and, if you were Indigenous, Chinese, Black, etc., considered by many to be cheap.

TB was particularly rampant on FNTs back then and is still prevalent on some communities today and back then basically untreatable (dad got it in the '30s and survived with one functioning lung - lived to age 80).

Even if the deaths were not nefarious, there is no way the government of the day was going to spend money to send the bodies back. Whether the lack of historical record was deliberate, poor record keeping or something more sinister we may never know.

Amongst other things, I can see a renewed effort to 'de-celebrate' (?) those politicians and public figures who championed the residential school system (Ryerson, et al).
 

Kilted

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Im already starting to see misinformation about this. There are a lot of people who are willing to believe almost anything.
 

Brad Sallows

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Obviously from comments I've seen elsewhere some people are surprised by this; I'd guess they don't know much about the history of the residential school system. Children will have died due to illness, innocent misadventure (accidents), neglect, and abuse. I'd expect most of the deaths occurred in the earlier years, which would also have been the time at which authorities were least likely to transport remains back to families. So expect local burials. Expect things to have been done on the cheap (no markers). Expect the criminal deaths to have been hushed up (stories of middle-of-night burials). I've known since before I graduated high school that kids died (and undoubtedly some were killed) while attending those institutions and were buried locally. It's just a question of finding the remains. Not all the deaths were nefarious. But not much respect was accorded the deceased and the families.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Look at the infant mortality rates from 1950 to now to see how far we have come


This graph covers the infant mortality rates for most of the time that school was open
 

FSTO

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Look at the infant mortality rates from 1950 to now to see how far we have come


This graph covers the infant mortality rates for most of the time that school was open
Those stats will be inconvient truths that will be buried by the cries of "Colonialism" and "Genocide". And it was well known at the time that the schools were a deathtrap.


Excerpt
1906-1910 THE BRYCE REPORTMonarch: Edward VII
Prime Minister: Sir Wilfred Laurier
Premier: Richard McBride
Federal Ministry:Department of the Interior
In the News1906 Delegation of BC Chiefs travel to England to meet with King Edward to discuss the Indian Land Question.
Mar 24 1906 “Census of the British Empire” shows England rules 1/5 of the world .
1907 Nisga’a form Nisga’a Land Committee.
Feb 13 1907 English suffragettes storm British Parliament and 60 women are arrested.
Apr 19, 1907 11th Boston Marathon won by Aboriginal athlete Tom Longboat of Canada.
1908 BC government decides to make no more reserve allocations.1909 The group “Interior Tribes of British Columbia” is formed.
1910 BC refuses to submit question of Aboriginal Title in BC to British Privy Council.
BACKGROUNDER
Tuberculosis is a highly contagious disease, caused by bacteria that infects any organ, but most commonly affects the lungs. Today we have modern antibiotics to treat the disease, but in 1907 diet, rest, sunlight and fresh air were the main treatments. TB, also known as consumption, was at epidemic levels among Aboriginal communities in the early twentieth century. With hundreds of children living so close together in dormitories, it is no wonder that the Industrial Schools, and later the Residential Schools, were breeding grounds for spreading the disease. In 1907, Dr. Peter Bryce, the Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Indian Affairs conducted a study of the health of students in Industrial Schools in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. He found extremely high rates of death from tuberculosis in the schools. His findings were shocking, and his report received publicity across the country. Duncan Campbell Scott and the Department of Indian Affairs did very little to address the problem.Bryce continued to push the government to recognize the problem. He conducted another study and report in 1909. This report was circulated to medical, school and church officials for comment. However, there was minimal action taken. You will read part of Scott’s response in the documents.Bryce continued to criticise the department and ultimately he was removed from his position. In 1922, after years of inaction and no change in the death rates, he published The Story of a National Crime: An Appeal for Justice to the Indians of Canada to bring awareness to the issue.
 

Remius

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Look at the infant mortality rates from 1950 to now to see how far we have come


This graph covers the infant mortality rates for most of the time that school was open
And yet aboriginal, Inuit and Métis child mortality rates remain disproportionately higher.
 

Eaglelord17

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And yet aboriginal, Inuit and Métis child mortality rates remain disproportionately higher.
I can't speak for the average Aboriginal and Metis children, but for the Inuit children we could solve much of those issues however we would be the evil white men if we dared to do so. Start requiring helmets on snowmachines and ATVs up North as well as adult driving or at least supervising ( https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/police-investigate-fatal-accident-rankin-inlet-1.5323827 ), remove the children from abusive households (currently they do what is best for the 'family' not the child), start enforcing the laws on the Inuit (pretty much the wild west up there, other than serious crime enforcement they are basically left to fend for themselves), etc. When you have a 50% truancy rate amongst kids in Grade 1 it isn't because the kids are skipping school, it is because the parents are refusing to send them to it. Almost starting to sound like Residential Schools isn't it?

But it is easier today to pretend the problem doesn't exist and ignore it. Do nothing you are the evil white man who is ignoring them. Do something you are the evil white man trying to destroy their culture and way of life. There is no winning until people are ready to have some serious talks and acknowledge both sides have roles to play.
 

Good2Golf

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Or perhaps ‘white-ification’ isn’t the answer, and we look at a long-term model to reverse the wholesale community amalgamation/settlements we enforced on the Inuit in the 50s and 60s?
 

SeaKingTacco

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Or perhaps ‘white-ification’ isn’t the answer, and we look at a long-term model to reverse the wholesale community amalgamation/settlements we enforced on the Inuit in the 50s and 60s?
Who are “we” and how do “we“ impose anything on those communities?

I‘ve been to Resolute Bay, where a whole bunch of Innuit got relocated in the 1950s and then starved, wholesale. It is about the worst place in the Arctic to put a Village for hunter/gatherers.

I am of the opinion at this point that solution is to raise the GST two points, give the resultant money every year to a panel of First Nations, no strings attached, and they distribute it under rules that they develop to each and every First Nation.
 

Weinie

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Who are “we” and how do “we“ impose anything on those communities?

I‘ve been to Resolute Bay, where a whole bunch of Innuit got relocated in the 1950s and then starved, wholesale. It is about the worst place in the Arctic to put a Village for hunter/gatherers.

I am of the opinion at this point that solution is to raise the GST two points, give the resultant money every year to a panel of First Nations, no strings attached, and they distribute it under rules that they develop to each and every First Nation.
So a "pay to demonstrate and acknowledge' our presumptive collective guilt? Sorry, I don't buy that argument.
 

SeaKingTacco

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So a "pay to demonstrate and acknowledge' our presumptive collective guilt? Sorry, I don't buy that argument.
Yes, actually.

But here is the kicker- nobody in Ottawa to blame if things go wrong. Self-Government means just that.

Oh and questions might start getting asked from below on just how the Band money is being spent.
 
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