On May 27, the the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation band put out a press release that shook the world, and also left us with more questions than answers about the magnitude of what was actually discovered. Kúkpi7 Chief Rosanne Casimir stated that the remains of 215 former students of the Kamloops, B.C. Indian residential school had been found, through the use of ground-penetrating radar.
The heartbreaking story quickly made front-page news across the world. Canada lowered its flags to half-mast to stand in solidarity with the First Nations community. But some of the stories that spread far and wide were not based on facts, even when stated by sources with great influence such as politicians and mainstream media.
For example, how were the remains buried? Is the discovery a mass grave, or a cemetery that had been lost in time? How was the precise number of the remains of 215 children arrived at with the specified technology, and will a thorough investigation be done to help determine the cause of death of those who were forgotten beneath the soil?
I drove out to Kamloops, along with my cameraman Matt, to try and answer some of these questions. But for whatever reason, almost all of the usual journalistic avenues a reporter would pursue all led back to the elected chief.
I have not heard back from the band about an official statement, nor was I able to interview Chief Rosanne Casimir, but I was fortunate enough to get more insight about what may have happened to those whose remains have been found, and even got to learn from two elders who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School for many years. The discovery has been understandably difficult for many, including the elders we spoke to, as it is a reminder of Canada’s dark history of residential schools including the kidnapping, stripping away of culture, and abuse of innocent indigenous children.
I will be following this story closely as it progresses, so make sure to be sure to sign up for our email list at rebelnews.com to ensure you don’t miss any future updates.