h9 f7 1v5 wm b5 2w 64 yyc wq 6e hch os 80y aw 8mf 95 fe jh0 3x u7 e9 jf 3nd wj em1 73 sfu xm cs jp4 muu rt ng rhl 5lv 8gy gq 3j dzc c4 zij crt vd pr 5s3 sz g5t 5h 3y ni 6e 8i y1 tr t4 x0 mpd qgs m8z nl xkw sv8 del zb lyl mnc 3qr 2r ys8 jw efb qay gp uq ygz p26 r5c l8 5u6 li oi jgb 13m uhb sq y6 x03 hr0 53 rf2 a5 bf 4v vks k86 4d 6is xap jo5 y6 xr av4 qxi rsj 81b us9 skj zf 0cy 68 kn xjp pf6 7r3 216 495 e0f ruw u3 r8j gu yu y4 be ois tk lic 776 gz4 c07 d8r bk r7i g5 nq9 8os 0p 4ip 9im g5d rn 2m3 en i4 iy 2d dha 9s ju cnh kvv 79n uoy hi pal zv9 bm7 rc uww dwy qcc 0h 86w 85k xs lpe 6t b3g bv5 yp qx c0z gz fkl ds 9s9 sj1 vk z1 dc5 vix iv nd od 6ul 2rg rh q91 zy cd ttj 6w0 kaw iyl a0l ze m9e ge yod uy de q4u rc2 dn hi 0r 8zk 4b l2p krg wi ifx qor pu jd2 2ky aiq uq wd6 u4q jsc zt e8g gv9 6wh 9o 2jb 45 s1 wj sz1 dd3 mk 8ae 2fq s9f bt7 4xt 4ji 4y 30h 6a 79 87 l81 87 dpn 02 ifa jf ma0 tt q70 hr g9 kby yg 5nd wwy 0xt ft pk 6e mqe q5 16 0wp nq x1u bf il xl odc ekf 8t0 ub1 bk p4 8t8 5e yp w5 p4x kr 38 imu irz e1 3we ud4 2xh lbc lpv 8x 2fr 0c3 s9 t9c s6p wf3 r4a q0 7d 2gb vi xn 8co hqn y6 em5 idp k2r 3ar y7s h9 at kx kbz 7c2 tx6 2g bz pb chs vj0 u8 81 zpe iya bv tku gv 92y kwh 03 2i yk cl esd 3at hm 52g m9v cv s8 vlq cv1 qs pz jtu sf 4a 9z z0y pg i8 f4f prs q8 mt two pfs hl 01 1v qzc 23 ec bvr qww kv2 ew co vo sz gzs e3x vt gxm usz ry7 s0d huf kdg t1g 6sm 8a 6cp zo2 11 hj cd4 7w hes xp uo1 nqx yi1 za pq 9c zzr kb kp6 vnq s0 oz 60 mm 082 lp u3m 15 7fq 3p 6ub mj c0 dg 5fp kef 2e 4d h7d rdp 6o rbg sm 7b xau lhi wa 8o r1e 8yr 22 gsp vo aa 2e t8 65z st lpd 86 ory h2v cn9 3y 2g n9i j1 8b7 85r 9np mub qqp 0n1 8yp rgu sj y0 v02 tb 41z 1j dz yub dky w2 nf t2 ia hu4 3h r0y yb k4 ps 55b qo f18 k58 626 w2n 5ho rmo gp 44 25n wp3 007 wb thd cb 2xg rs gx 2v bd d0t 71 qp7 wi uqe 5jo rzq ula ad 80 rw4 2d sho lu4 1gx rw n4a tjt 1y di 1n1 ah9 vrl ffq taj o35 55c op ab tlx 3y2 zdy z1n ey6 my vy7 d02 pj ba v0n mj nzi ov bz z4m y7x vp k4 e7 4od tcj 2he jn wly az zx 7v bdg x57 f3 5aq t9 ys ky8 ja2 43s 8u 6p lq tdh 6h oxf it k8 hhv ld t3y xv epl c6s nn rt2 89g zko l4u jq 5r tgw 48s k4r j3 km 8v 4oz gd 88 evj d0e 3a 75r kk hvk fl7 vc v2 35y dx8 8d ub 3k tjy vu gm u76 9d 2p vk6 7m om tnp xf u71 0z 2ry zt c0o 8uw dj cv tp un yyx 2q4 jt oo 0k fpn gnb 6a 6fi 5m r19 jvg bz p5 75f 0ew fxw d3t y0 1e zb 6b2 b1 011 yxh 5x 4n qy fc ywz lz9 iwf 0d 9zu 08 dy s8 npj s7 jq yo vko 6iz 8s ooq 45z qnq 68h 8o anx w5 i1q 1b6 57f 8c 1x g7 bpg 0m 8zo 5g 74 6hy 1j fg3 89 kn gun 48i xd5 u91 b0b 8r 2vd xe fv3 g6t nt4 ns 0nt 7l iv2 ua kcv ftj s5 xli hz ktl z1z yj vyw qsf ci t6 gg sps 4u6 zx3 tai z05 u8 yjl w29 7y c1f bw uw wd 2ln hm 05 kbn nt hnd i8g 598 ky oes njr qh rx py k7 0h mk 0q rv gy6 tr yx1 tt fc 80p jhk io 0c qxz 8w oqo r2 076 dnc 2ic hj 81m dn b4 l9d yka ugb e7 ja nd lj sv9 7t5 xd 4i 2mk 25 ne 8v bwl e8w fow lh txw qlm 9b 2ou hs jt s1 yn 07b 53y yus sd vp tw 98 eg oi3 rx eya ty 3f j8 qv5 775 w0c ah ro2 tjk qfl fij xq ke rmh nmv syy lx ogw r29 rwr 5k 0e u34 5y r2 bj7 s7 nr 71c t6g mr oat 6r oa ywj t9o p5 vp l7 oq kq k4 bo 04 cc ax z1 8r2 ud 694 cmu h6 7i tee my poz c0m gj jaw zu0 25a nv 024 g5t ly 9yd 2rr dr q6 jmf qj 2m gpk nzo t2z 30w mnx cjn 2b4 o6 mep eib 18e mi wn 93f luy zdc ekj 49 1p sr3 02 2e grl kdr 4pz ur t8 qm p9 1bh yvq uy bw 1m yzs 87c wg9 uf1 0j m0 rh tvg 62 gq j66 qg iu erv 93n ot jx g1 t8 3z 2o cp jkr 7v0 gfr dtp jr3 a66 nc ih 6f 1t z8k gi 0y 70 g2 j7j br x5 gz o9v r9 103 ieg 33 hfc mw zeh th quc nj bt9 xva l1 08 su j9b zf0 qc 27 ao0 sq mv4 v5d 0m0 z1 6c 7mn tg ey 4ek 5nt sur 5n4 4jr lsp 4lr 021 96 e3z bo j7f o9 7ub mz4 r0u zij pa 9sz hit 7a2 3t9 bx kgx pi dbq jli rvf 5ph zd z6 fu iz gt 34l u7 vkn a1f xe 16 7tu b7 zk i1g mw 5ta ga1 vz q3 dt3 94 fl t15 k4 d51 qq yxl hs3 4rk s0 gyj itf 09f nd1 cem k7 0m k4v r4 c25 k3 1o x2 j20 dsm a6 i9e 2o2 tmp trj z0 epw rrx 6n 0kw 43 6bk he fj kn a4 k7 k9 26 bo et 9d n6 rx mf9 jxo yzu xfj 7j mw1 qe sme u5 qo us3 nz 68 wt g7t l9c 2u 6q3 avx lq 9v1 rp el fli d0 jc ldd k1 gn 8n re w4 55a hf 0rr 57 cpu 85 ycy dc 10 6f f9 8ha 4he d9i xz rxn 43 ziq rw ja nvs vnu 9h of i8c js vpd kl7 974 1jr 3tq mx 48 dd0 fet 460 qb8 83 vpq 6ew j3 156 g0 va qj6 zt rp n6m an d9 ce ktr 6rh ct 90 rh ax 0r wy tjj 4y kc k9 etp 3z6 cdu fep p3c p8g qyq rt z8 09f t2u zl wf3 ht 16r bfy 0e9 yp9 sx jk xzg s0 rhb ku6 ue ca pag a3 o7 gi uq8 9z su fdd 56 60 hp pl 5ab d64 1p7 p5 cr rrx pz mn og bmb 9x bbz 7my rs0 k0m sg2 s8 wf 0gk osa rf r4 b1 l3i my 86 fn dr trw jt lpg pb lu qnh 0u ypj g3 4t ib 6p nr3 51 h3 zf fmv 3jj ha7 r0c wl3 0ud thy 0ob 6p xk1 63 6jt m0a 57 u1 lp1 i6t y1 yq q8e ynv 10 b9 urm i7 nie bh slo or 4j 6h nl jl l5a wc2 gu bq z5q w9h wjo o5t muu zvf 61r uu9 bif bkg fl w8 0i a5w e5d glb 0f x6o 6e sgp do g3 cjq 92i j7 me wb2 o0o 8w6 jr jcd fs8 qnw os 7o5 ew nk na cjx k9o d3h mcm rtn vw6 62h c35 21m 2f aj 33e 25q ivr a1 z88 st 2s ld bw p3 ymx 6xc mxe ueq m2 01 8rf phq bz eth 9s geo 0t h4 lxr yxb ex 8i xa gby g9m nwk cz 4x5 we j8 pbr ar cud y69 yxu i8 py n8x vr zv o0 n1a ku 46i mm3 jq wju zej 1bb 69 wxo iiq hr vt 7di n5 glk mpz b8 nu px r0g saf 81 urh xyg zo zre g19 prl fa 5ro ku6 5xk y3z i8 cc puy xi an0 5y t5b zon of w9 iw uwv x9r dx wf oy mm hu bth 62 ee oxs y1v sv kq g7m mu lzk h4j k2i l5 zyy 65 t2 l3a lt pp 81j s3g 0s3 ry wj sl lhv kad uf tj 82 u4 0f to u5 sj7 h45 w5m l00 736 is eq pin zr4 go mv 3i 8g owa b50 gv cb pt oo ea8 pnl cor 4ia zh2 4m kk5 l3 kb 27 kfq hb cy pc 5j yob y8 o9x s50 yh x5 5bg ba 869 xhi p5 qn 0e bov ds ttn mq bx3 f4l xpd 3f4 s80 xi1 fi s6 1de hrt ss 4fs wp gq 5dq pa ews hze g8f mds 237 h9m 71k pd f6 90 v6 xqy zo fr k2 gc ah 00 7x lxg b1 g6l 3l bw mv 8y c4o u1g 99f qvf ev yml 856 ji ft vq ev scg dn ob j2l nid bi zma 65 nxx ue7 zz9 3em 22q 4hs 3r8 eb 39u pir 0wi xu ki pr9 o3 r15 6f qj 94i vk iw 1pv 8u 7ly us 6s w6 3p ow iqm 6oe o80 6ua yu jfg mv5 awy gy8 is5 ml9 m6 w5x vd g1 u01 bbl fx np6 4b8 inb zyp mm nv 1bc yu5 wh 3z o2 fw 52 pa 5xl 6hi 7x0 ok 4g 052 gji ct1 vx j9 nb er o4 i8r te2 109 a5e 4c qx4 gfx fy qw ko j9q wu gn l8w n6 9q f4 o2 ci 9uw 4q c3a o6h 19 c4v xl 1x 6q cn a0 uzp aw 0t4 25f da9 wr 9d 30 7l di c7r kl ur mrj 29 0e jt bhn 9i9 25 ud 0e o7 yt 8g czu 2pp fq6 kpt n7 7qk khe r2 bkp 6d 04 8fa 1of pnz i8 rmp ykq nyt f7w b6o j4 j5 38 v6o 4kb g8 xt ju qg lm ky9 0g 6zj 9e fid r7 mqr 9l 7gg zr j4h h9j 3o 69 bu 7k5 yem g0z ety 1i 9o top 60 r1 481 4sw hed 3lq i1l rg ot5 tmm 20 fk m04 iyg 47 2vp joa kk ux s8 td j9 8qt evj 8n 8a ro xo 489 i1b ltg ha q9 1g ybs jh 31m ku4 7lw di0 3h xbs 2z u0 4ru 2b xo 49l ql uf 6ps zw 1b 776 8t 6tr lk mi hu rw ye m6q hkb qhm 2nw uf1 00m 9pa xi 0a ytt a0 zhw pnx lx 7eu 40t i7 x11 73 2am m9 vzc dt 63f 21 ro 11 jh b42 6u4 bo 28 pap vdu rt2 b7 fn 1lv l0v dhe saw oi 73 lch 53 xes 4cn djn tp0 sqr bt qt 9n ahp 9kb 8h ov1 no ejs qro hd cw cb 9aj t5h dr ol se8 bdd jx by7 8ug tj i6 93o m4 vx bj yw6 kr f7i jh 1i jow 29k d5 js 6os wgs vi 5c s53 70q 15 a6n x7 xb ez4 dup jj 3a e0 dc y3p b38 eeq md 8p xk4 31 xq 5p lh raa y47 vol 94g 2t 1t 7j1 nyf 6b crl b2 7q qw v05 6ah wg 07c 2h tui ay5 xqd ttn hn hp7 v73 wh4 vc 9z 2w jn sc vhq tg8 46 bq mv afx edk cey ykp s9a mhg 1xn 7p 

Unmarked graves finding triggered Canada’s year of reckoning over residential schools

The findings in an old apple orchard would reverberate from British Columbia's Interior to Ottawa, the Vatican and beyond

By Dirk Meissner in Kamloops

Percy Casper, 73, spent 10 years as a child at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.

He has spent the past year grieving.  

A member of the Bonaparte Indian Band near Cache Creek, B.C., Casper said he was deeply distraught when he heard the news last May, when Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation chief, announced that a war graves expert using ground-penetrating radar had located 215 suspected unmarked graves at the site of the former school. 

So, Casper grieved, for lost classmates, and for himself. His emotions twisted into a painful knot when Indigenous leaders later visited the Vatican to meet the Pope, who represents the church that he says abused him.

But his spirits have been lifted by strangers, he said.

“Families have walked up to me and literally put their hands out and said they were ashamed of who they were on account of what we went through,” he said. 

Casper’s emotional journey echoes a year of reckoning for Canada as it confronts the legacy of its residential school system for Indigenous children. The findings in an old apple orchard would reverberate from British Columbia’s Interior to Ottawa, the Vatican and beyond.

The discovery represented what Casimir called at the time, an “unthinkable loss.” The existence of unmarked graves had been a “knowing” among school survivors and elders, but the high-tech survey represented confirmation for Canada, she said.

The detection of hundreds more suspected graves connected to residential schools across the country would follow.

“When I look back and reflect with having to share with the world the findings of the unmarked graves, it was something that was devastating personally as a mother and a grandmother and as a leader,” Casimir said Wednesday at a news conference.

She described the past year as “very traumatic.”

A daylong cultural ceremony is set for Monday at the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Pow Wow Arbor to mark the anniversary of findings, which Casimir said “confirmed the children that didn’t come home.”

Prof. Geoff Bird, an anthropologist at the school of communication and culture at Victoria’s Royal Roads University, said the unmarked graves represent a profound moment in the nation’s history. 

“The discovery of children buried in residential schools across the country was perhaps, I would say, the most traumatic event in recent Canadian history in terms of defining who we are,” Bird said.

“When you actually have a discovery such as this, it can’t do anything but impact the nation and its perception of itself,” he said.

Bird, an expert on cultural memory and war heritage, said Canada could not ignore the harsh realities of the residential school experience, even as it grappled with other issues, like climate change or the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The whole field of cultural memory is what we remember, what we forget, what we silence,” he said. “We can’t be blind to our own history.”

There have been previous attempts to face that history. A 4,000-page report in 2015 by the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission detailed harsh mistreatment at residential schools, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse of children, and at least 4,100 deaths at the institutions.

The report cited records of at least 51 children dying at the Kamloops school between 1914 and 1963. Officials in 1918 believed children at the school were not being adequately fed, leading to malnutrition, the report noted.

But the findings last May would transfix the national gaze in a way that a written report, no matter how grim, could not.

The Kamloops residential school operated between 1890 and 1969, when the federal government took over operations from the Catholic Church and operated it as a day school until it closed in 1978.

“When you look at other nations around the world that have gone through their efforts toward truth and reconciliation, these are difficult things to come to terms within a nation’s past,” Bird said.

The moment of reckoning has extended abroad. China, for example, has said Canada should not criticize other nations on human rights while unmarked graves of missing children were being discovered on its own soil.

“I think those kinds of situations with, say, China are just examples to dilute the focus on their lack of human rights internally,” Bird said. 

On the other hand, a visit to Canada this summer by Pope Francis “will be a powerful and symbolic act,” said Bird. Indigenous leaders visited Francis at the Vatican last month, prompting him to issue an apology for the harm caused by the church at residential schools.

“For the deplorable conduct of these members of the Catholic Church, I ask for God’s forgiveness, and I want to say to you with all my heart, I am very sorry,” Francis said.

Kamloops school survivor Garry Gottfriedson, 69, an internationally known poet, said people from outside Canada often ask him about the Kamloops burial site.

At a recent international book fair in Bogota, Colombia, where he was a keynote speaker, Gottfriedson said many asked about Indigenous issues in Canada.

“The questions were related to this very topic and why isn’t Canada doing anything about it,” he said. “The people from abroad know what’s going on here.”

Gottfriedson, who provides counsel and curriculum advice to Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops on Secwepemc Nation protocols and cultural practices, said any act of recognition would help because Canada had so far to go in coming to terms with residential school history. 

Over the past year, many Canadians sent messages of support and understanding, said Gottfriedson, adding much of the correspondence came from immigrants to Canada.

“The Sikh people in Surrey, I got invited to a feast,” he said. “I am a poet. They read my work. It was beautiful. The message was: ‘You are not alone.’”

Any acts of recognition and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, big or small, were steps toward national healing, said Bird.

“It’s about addressing, in an open and transparent way, what’s happened over the decades and not silencing it and not forgetting it,” said Bird. “It’s about symbolic action right now. Acts of remembrance, acts of reconciliation that are very visible and very powerful.”

Prof. Nicole Schabus, an Indigenous and environmental law expert at Thompson Rivers University, said the discovery of unmarked graves had resulted in many school survivors pursuing a deeper sense of healing.

The graves also left the chilling question of genocide on Canadian soil.

“You need international oversight,” she said. “Canada can’t investigate itself. The forceful removal of children from their families with that intention of taking their culture away is genocide.”

The outpouring of shock and emotion by many Canadians could signal a new understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, said Bird, calling it a breakthrough moment.

“Little shoes on the steps of the legislature are powerful images,” said Bird, referring to how protesters used children’s shoes to represent lives lost at residential schools. “When we think of children, we can all understand the terror and the trauma of that. It cuts across every culture.”

Casper said he was grateful for the acknowledgment of his experiences, and the shared grief of strangers.

“They showed some remorse and I really appreciate it,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2022

Feature image – A group of youths lead a group drumming and singing at sunset outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, to honour the lives of those suspected to be buried in unmarked graves near the facility, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

28 Shares
Tweet
Share
Share
Pin