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Another shocking discovery: 160+ more unmarked graves unearthed in Canada

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (back-C) visits the Cowessess First Nation, where a search found 751 unmarked graves from the former Marieval Indian Residential School near Grayson, Saskatchewan, Canada, on July 6, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Indigenous people in Canada have discovered 160 more "undocumented and unmarked" graves in British Columbia's Southern Gulf Islands.

"We are inviting you to join us in our work to raise awareness of the Kuper Island Industrial School, and Confirmation of the 160+ undocumented and unmarked graves in our grounds and foreshore," the Penelakut Tribe said in a newsletter posted online on Monday, informing neighboring First Nations communities of the discovery.

The notice did not clarify how the graves had been found in the area, which was once home to the Kuper Island Residential School, a former boarding school run by the Catholic Church on behalf of the Canadian government.

In recent months, the discovery of corpses in unmarked graves on the sites of former residential schools have once again put the horrific abuse of generations of indigenous people in Canada under the spotlight.

On June 30, the Lower Kootenay Band, a First Nation based in the East Kootenay region of British Columbia, said that a ground-penetrating radar had revealed 182 human remains at St. Eugene’s Mission residential school near the city of Cranbrook in British Columbia.

The group added that some of the remains had been buried in shallow graves only three and four feet deep.

The latest finds have reopened old wounds in Canada regarding the notorious residential schools, which were mostly operated by the Roman Catholic Church on behalf of the government of Canada during the 19th and 20th centuries.

In all, 130 boarding schools forcibly separated more than 150,000 indigenous children from their families and had them attend state-funded schools in a campaign aimed at presumably assimilating the minors into the Canadian society.

Thousands of children died of disease, malnutrition, neglect, and other causes at the schools, where physical as well as sexual abuse was rife.

Earlier in June, the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan announced the discovery of 751 possible unmarked graves.

In May, the Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc said it had discovered 215 unmarked graves, most of which were believed to be those of children.


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