The former Kamloops Indian Residential School is seen in Kamloops, B.C., on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Ground-penetrating radar has located what are believed to be the unmarked graves of 215 students at the former school. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School is seen in Kamloops, B.C., on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Ground-penetrating radar has located what are believed to be the unmarked graves of 215 students at the former school. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

U.N. seeks full probe into death of Indigenous students at residential schools

Human rights office wants ‘prompt and exhaustive investigations’ into Canada’s deaths, unmarked graves

The United Nations Human Rights Office is calling on all levels of Canadian governments to investigate the deaths of Indigenous children at residential schools and to intensity efforts to find those who are missing.

A spokeswoman for the human rights office says the detection of what are believed to be 215 bodies of Indigenous children at a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C., is “shocking and reopens painful wounds.”

Marta Hurtado says Canada must ensure “prompt and exhaustive investigations” into the deaths and search any unmarked graves.

She says healing will only be possible once families and Indigenous communities are given access to documents about missing or dead family members and the remains are properly identified.

Hurtado says appropriate compensation, official apologies, memorials and rehabilitative services should also be considered, calling those measures “cornerstones for reconciliation.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said it is the “fault of Canada” that children who died during forced attendance at residential schools are not the parents, grandparents, elders and community leaders they should have become.

Hurtado says “historic abuses against Indigenous children in government-run educational and health institutions continue to affect the lives of Indigenous communities.”

“The intergenerational impacts deriving from them continue to be significant, including at the linguistic, economic and cultural level,” she says in the statement.

“Lack of exhaustive clarification and access to truth and redress for what happened during this dark period compounds this.”

The Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced last week that ground-penetrating radar had located what are believed to be the unmarked graves of students at the Kamloops school.

A more complete report on the findings is expected later this month.

The discovery adds momentum to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Hurtado says.

She also called on Trudeau to establish a specific legal organization, with government and Indigenous members, to protect and manage burial sites, and that the United Nations is able to offer technical help.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Canada holds special debate on remains of 215 children found at residential school

RELATED: Teddy bears support those grieving Kamloops residential school victims

residential schoolsUnited Nations

Just Posted

White Rock beach was buzzing with activity on Father’s Day. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: White Rock beach buzzing with activity on Father’s Day

High of 27C drew hundreds of people to the beach

SFN councillor Joanne Charles, White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker and Coun. David Chesney listen to welcoming remarks from Chief Harley Chappell (Xwopokton). (FIle photo)
White Rock, SFN grieve together on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Residents encouraged to wear orange on Canada Day

Surrey RCMP are investigating after shots were fired at a white Jeep Saturday evening in Newton. (Shane MacKichan photo)
UPDATE: Surrey RCMP asking for video after shots fired in Newton

Surrey RCMP said a silver SUV shot at a white Jeep

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Most Read