Canada: Mass grave discovered at Aboriginal boarding school

The bones of more than 200 former students have been found at the site of a former boarding school for Native Canadian children. The discovery sheds light once again on the country’s harsh treatment of indigenous peoples.

Memorial to the 215 dead: Children’s shoes in the Canadian capital, Ottawa.

Justin Tang / Imago

For more than a hundred years in Canada, Aboriginal children have been separated from their parents and sent to boarding schools, where they have been systematically removed from their indigenous culture. The schools were notorious. A 2015 report documented countless cases of malnutrition, corporal punishment, medical and general neglect, sexual abuse and trauma among 150,000 children who enrolled in schools from 1840 until the last facility closed in 1996. 4,100 deaths were counted. Humans have now been discovered in a mass grave at the site of the former boarding school near the small town of Kamloops. The remains of 215 children. The Kamloops Indian Residential School, founded in 1890 and taken over by the state in 1969, was the largest indigenous boarding school in the country. In the 1950s, the facility housed more than 500 students. Like most of these schools, it was run by the Catholic Church on behalf of the Canadian government.

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