Feds spent millions to uncover no unmarked graves in Kamloops: report

The Trudeau Liberals gave Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation $7.9 million to uncover unmarked graves at a former Kamloops Residential School, but they refrained from discussing the funds in a recent statement.

Feds spent millions to uncover no unmarked graves in Kamloops: report
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The Trudeau government confirmed Wednesday it spent millions to uncover the “heartbreaking truth” of unmarked graves at a former residential school, but no remains have been found to date.

A spokesperson for the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations disclosed a $7.9 million taxpayer bill for their efforts yet failed to release financial accounts under the Access To Information Act.

“The community had received $7.9 million for field work, records searches and to secure the Residential School grounds,” said Carolane Gratton, spokesperson for Crown-Indigenous Relations. “Details of initiatives taken by Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation are best directed to the community,” she added.

The First Nation “continues to grieve children that are in our care and are focused on the scientific work that needs to be done,” reads a statement that refrained from discussing the funds.

The reported discovery of alleged remains belonging to 215 children at the former residential school happened through ground-penetrating radar, which is said to be an unreliable diagnostic tool. 

“I think Canadians have seen with horror those unmarked graves across the country and realize that what happened decades ago isn’t part of our history, it is an irrefutable part of our present,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier told reporters.

At the time of the alleged discovery, the federal government approved $3.1 million for a national Residential Schools Student Death Register and another $238.8 million for a Residential Schools Missing Children Community Support Fund which expires in 2025.

Nationwide outrage ensued, and the alleged graves propelled the vandalism and burning of over 60 churches that summer.

An updated incident map from True North showed at least 96 churches had been destroyed, burned or vandalized in Canada since the spring of 2021.

According to a 2022 department briefing note, the $7.9 million funding over two years was to document the “heartbreaking truth” of unmarked graves at residential schools, reported Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Funding is available to support communities, survivors and their families on their healing journey through researching, locating and memorializing those children who died while attending Indian Residential Schools,” said the note Indian Residential School Sites: Unmarked Burials.

As of writing, no remains have been unearthed at the Kamloops site, with investigations to take upwards of two decades to complete.

A Senate committee in a 2023 report described questions regarding documentation of the 215 graves as “Residential School denialism.”

“Denialism serves to distract people from the horrific consequences of Residential Schools and the realities of missing children, burials and unmarked graves,” said the Senate Indigenous Peoples Committee report Honouring The Children Who Never Came Home. It recommended that “the Government of Canada take every action necessary to combat the rise of Residential School denialism.”

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Kamloops: The Buried Truth

A new Rebel News documentary exposing the truth about the discovery of unmarked graves in Kamloops, British Columbia in 2021.

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