A plaque is seen outside of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops, B.C. on Thursday, May 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Snucins

A plaque is seen outside of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops, B.C. on Thursday, May 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Snucins

B.C. premier ‘horrified’ at discovery of remains at Kamloops residential school site

John Horgan says the discovery of the remains of 215 children is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions

British Columbia Premier John Horgan says he is “horrified and heartbroken” to learn of the discovery of a burial site with 215 children on the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation says new ground-penetrating technology was able to show the remains of the children, whose deaths are believed to be undocumented but are known within the community.

Horgan says the discovery is a tragedy of “unimaginable proportions” and highlights the violence and consequences of the residential school system.

The head of the First Nations Health Authority says it will be providing mental health and trauma support to community members as the search continues.

RELATED: Remains of 215 children found at former B.C. residential school an ‘unthinkable loss’

Richard Jock, the authority’s CEO, says COVID-19 has made it difficult for people to gather and mourn the news.

He says the legacy of colonialism leads to modern-day trauma and health issues in Indigenous communities.

“This particular event may be seen as historical but it’s also a continuous trend I would say of this power imbalance if you would, that creates these issues for First Nations people.”

B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth made a brief statement Friday about the discovery at the former residential school at a news conference on a separate announcement.

“I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc people who are dealing with the continuing tragedy and impact of the residential school system and the dark chapter that is in their nation’s history and our nation’s history and our thoughts are with them today.”

The B.C. society of Indian Residential School Survivors is offering toll-free telephone support for survivors at 1-800-721-0066.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

residential schools

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Trees blown over by a windstorm in forest owned by Anderson Creek Timber. Photo: Anderson Creek Timber
Timber company logging near Nelson raises local concerns

Anderson Creek Timber owns 600 hectares of forest adjacent to the city

Keith Smyth, Kootenay Savings director at-large joins children from the Kids’ Care Centre at St. Michael’s Catholic School. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Savings continues credit union’s tradition of giving

Funding totalling $48,250, is going to a wide array of Kootenay initiatives

From left: Karl Luedtke (West Arm Outdoors Club), Dale Williams (BCWF), Molly Teather (FLNORD), Gord Grunerud (West Arm Outdoors Club), Eugene Volokhov (Grand Prize Winner), Casey McKinnon and Lex Jones (Jones Boys Boats). Photo: Tammy White, Whitelight Photography
Balfour man lands big prize from angler incentive program

Eugene Volokhov of Balfour is now the proud owner of a sleek 18-foot Kingfisher boat

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read