The Penticton Indian Band released a statement late on Friday regarding the discovery of the remains of over 200 children at the site of the Kamloops residential school.
In their statement, the band expressed how they are “shocked and sickened” by the news, and called for full accountability for the tragic event.
Work is currently underway by forensic experts to identify the individual children so that they can be eventually repatriated back to their communities and family.
The B.C. Society of Indian Residential School Survivors is offering toll-free telephone support for survivors at 1-800-721-0066.
The band’s full statement:
Our Penticton Indian Band community is shocked and sickened from the tragic news of the discovery of 215 children’s remains at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The children’s remains were members of families that were taken to be “educated” and cared for by “supposed” people of god. This sickening discovery is not only tragic but is pure evil.
These children were not given the dignity or respect for a proper burial and without family members there to grieve or send them on their journey. Chief and Council would like to express their heart-felt sorrow to all families, survivors and communities impacted by this unbelievable tragic discovery.
We stand with the Tkemlups (Kamloops) Indian Band who are now burdened with this heart-wrenching discovery. Our respective communities have met today with the Tkemlups (Kamloops) leadership and have made our commitment to lend our support for whatever measure or direction they wish to pursue.
The announcement of this sickening and tragic discovery now triggers renewed pain, hurt and emotions of all residential school survivors and we are reaching out to ensure they have support to help with the renewed hurt. This is a difficult time for our community and supports are in place for those experiencing grief. There is no doubt that this is a tragic event and there needs to be full accountability.
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