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Chief calls news conference as memorial grows near Kamloops, B.C., residential school

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — An update is expected from the chief of the Tk’emlups te Sewepemc First Nation, a week after the band announced the discovery of what are believed to be the remains of 215 children at the former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. 

Chief Rosanne Casimir is holding a news conference in Kamloops today. 

The First Nation announced last week that it had used the services of a ground-penetrating radar specialist to reveal the remains of children long believed missing from the school, some as young as three years old. 

The band’s announcement of the discovery has touched off countrywide grief, anger about the children’s treatment at the schools and calls for more searches at other such institutions. 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report on Canada’s residential school system detailed harsh mistreatment of Indigenous children at the government-funded, church run schools where at least 4,100 children died.

Casimir has said the band plans to release a report with preliminary findings about the discovery in mid-June.

Since the news broke last week, steady streams of people have stopped to pay their respects, and leave flowers, shoes and stuffed animals at the memorial to survivors outside of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press