Kamloops, BC – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is due to visit Kamloops, BC today, where the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation announced that it had found nearly 200 unmarked graves on the site of a former residential school last spring. .

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Since May, several Indigenous nations have reported finding unmarked graves in former residential schools with the ground-penetrating radar technology used in Kamloops, prompting calls for justice that resonated around the world.

Trudeau apologized earlier this month to Tk’emlups chief Rosanne Casimir after Monday’s visit, as he accepted an invitation to attend Canada’s first national Truth and Reconciliation event on September 30. did not do.

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She faced backlash for traveling with her family to Tofino, B.C., where Indigenous children were torn from their families, instead of attending any individual events to honor survivors of state-sponsored residential institutions. They were abused.

Trudeau spoke to some of the survivors on the telephone on 30 September and had attended an event on Parliament Hill the night before, and later said traveling was a “mistake”.

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Tk’emlups te Secwepemc issued a statement saying it is not interested in apologies that do not lead to real change and action for healing and revitalization of indigenous culture and languages ​​for residential school survivors.

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc has called on Ottawa to fund a new treatment center for survivors and their families in the Kamloops area and full disclosure of government records relating to children attending the institution there.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 18, 2021.

If you are a former residential school survivor in crisis, or have been affected by the residential school system and need help, you can contact the 24-hour Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419 can.

Additional mental-health support and resources for Indigenous peoples are available here.