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

Cowichan District Hospital. (File photo)
Guest column: The story of a surgery in Cowichan

In homage to the Cowichan District Hospital and its surgical team

Motorcyclists in the hundreds depart from Duncan on a South Island ride in honour of the Kamloops 215. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Ride for the Kamloops 215 takes over Trans-Canada Highway

“My family was in residential schools for three generations. On the day… Continue reading

(The winning Lady of the Lake candidates demonstrate their talents during the annual Opportunity Night, Wednesday, June 8. Mary Batyi, left, does a Highland Dance routine, accompanied by a bagpiper; Jorden Matson, centre, shows people her artwork while telling the crowd what her inspirations are; Amber Bell tells people about competitive swimming, before providing a virtual demonstration.” (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette, June 15, 2011)
Flashback: Water meters, ‘Porky’, and Lady of the Lake

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Not securing your load could cost you big

An object of any sort falling off of the vehicle in front of you is definitely a surprise

Jared Popma recently streamed a live concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. (Ashley Daniel Foot photo)
21-year-old jazz artist talks favourite tunes and joys of music theory

Jared Popma recently streamed a concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

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

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 Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read