Jump to content

      












Photo

215 graves at Kamloops residential school | Discussion, news, and what we know so far


  • Please log in to reply
726 replies to this topic

#61 Victoria Watcher

Victoria Watcher

    Old White Man On A Canadian Island

  • Member
  • 23,693 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 04:55 PM

The University of B.C. says it is reconsidering an honorary degree given to a bishop who worked at two residential schools in B.C.

 

John Fergus O’Grady was granted the honorary degree in 1986. According to UBC archives, O’Grady was part of the Oblate Fathers, a Catholic order, and “served on the staffs of Native Indian schools in Mission and Kamloops” and developed a separate school curriculum program for Indigenous children.

 

The university said it would reconsider the issue following the discovery of 215 children buried in unmarked graves on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School by the Tk​’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation.

 

 

 

https://www.vicnews....dential-school/


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 31 May 2021 - 04:55 PM.


#62 spanky123

spanky123
  • Member
  • 16,633 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 05:37 PM

https://archive.org/...age/14/mode/2up
 

"The story of a national crime : being an appeal for justice to the Indians of Canada ; the wards of the nation, our allies in the Revolutionary War, our brothers-in-arms in the Great War"

 

P.H. Bryce was a physician and chief medical officer of the Indian Department in the early 1900s. Published in 1922, this describes his terrible experiences with government inaction and cynicism towards the indigenous people suffering from a brutal tuberculosis pandemic.
 

 

Apparently a death rate of 75% (!!!) wasn't enough to get the Canadian Government to bother lifting a finger. This is neglect that would be considered criminal today, and through inaction the blood of those children are on the hands of our government.

 

As I pointed out and linked to earlier, at the time between 33% and 50% of white kids died before the age of 5 as well. Looking at my own family history from the time period almost every family had at least one child and in many instances a mother die in childbirth or at a young age.

 

You cannot judge healthcare and medical standards of 100 years ago with those of today.



#63 spanky123

spanky123
  • Member
  • 16,633 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 05:39 PM

 

The University of B.C. says it is reconsidering an honorary degree given to a bishop who worked at two residential schools in B.C.

 

John Fergus O’Grady was granted the honorary degree in 1986. According to UBC archives, O’Grady was part of the Oblate Fathers, a Catholic order, and “served on the staffs of Native Indian schools in Mission and Kamloops” and developed a separate school curriculum program for Indigenous children.

 

The university said it would reconsider the issue following the discovery of 215 children buried in unmarked graves on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School by the Tk​’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation.

 

 

 

https://www.vicnews....dential-school/

 

 

If it makes UBC feel any better then so be it. I am sure Mr. O'Grady isn't going to lose any sleep over it.  



#64 Victoria Watcher

Victoria Watcher

    Old White Man On A Canadian Island

  • Member
  • 23,693 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 05:47 PM

If it makes UBC feel any better then so be it. I am sure Mr. O'Grady isn't going to lose any sleep over it.  

 

probably not.  he was born in 1908.  only CBC seems to have managed to find he died in 1998.

 

https://www.cbc.ca/n...chool-1.6047229


  • spanky123 likes this

#65 On the Level

On the Level
  • Member
  • 2,415 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 06:32 PM

As I pointed out and linked to earlier, at the time between 33% and 50% of white kids died before the age of 5 as well. Looking at my own family history from the time period almost every family had at least one child and in many instances a mother die in childbirth or at a young age.

 

You cannot judge healthcare and medical standards of 100 years ago with those of today.

 

True, which helps to understand why they died, but there are still some troubling aspects.  Did going to the residential school increase the odds of catching a deadly disease?  Why did they not contact families and make arrangements?



#66 Victoria Watcher

Victoria Watcher

    Old White Man On A Canadian Island

  • Member
  • 23,693 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 06:37 PM

True, which helps to understand why they died, but there are still some troubling aspects.  Did going to the residential school increase the odds of catching a deadly disease?  Why did they not contact families and make arrangements?

 

agree, it seems odd when viewed through a current day contemporaneous lens.  

 

but were indigenous people keeping track of deaths in their own communities from 1880 to 1963?  no.  no records exist there really either.  where are their dead all buried?  nobody really knows.

 

there was a lot of loose record-keeping in the olden days.   and as i already said, people were just buried where they died.  almost nobody could afford a cemetery spot.  less than 20% of Canadians have ever been buried in a cemetery.  before WW2 almost everyone in the world lived in poverty.  i know, hard to grasp today.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 31 May 2021 - 06:48 PM.

  • spanky123 likes this

#67 spanky123

spanky123
  • Member
  • 16,633 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 07:31 PM

True, which helps to understand why they died, but there are still some troubling aspects.  Did going to the residential school increase the odds of catching a deadly disease?  Why did they not contact families and make arrangements?

 

100% agree. That is a lot different then what the MSM is saying was genocide by Catholic nuns and priests.


Edited by spanky123, 31 May 2021 - 07:32 PM.


#68 David Bratzer

David Bratzer
  • Member
  • 506 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 07:37 PM

Here is the original media release. Hopefully my cut and paste hasn't messed up the formatting too badly:

 

 

Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops Indian Band)

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

May 27, 2021, Kamloops – It is with a heavy heart that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir confirms an unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented by the Kamloops Indian Residential School. This past weekend, with the help of a ground penetrating radar specialist, the stark truth of the preliminary findings came to light – the confirmation of the remains of 215 children who were students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

 

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the home community of the Kamloops Indian Residential School which was the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system. As such, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Leadership acknowledges their responsibility to caretake for these lost children.

 

“We had a knowing in our community that we were able to verify. To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” stated Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir. “Some were as young as three years old. We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the final resting place of these children.”

 

This work was undertaken by the C7lksten̓ s re Secwpemc ne Ck̓ úl̓ tens ell ne Xqwelténs (Tk’emlúps te Secwpemc Language and Culture Department) with ceremonial Knowledge Keepers who ensured that the work was conducted respectfully in light of the serious nature of the investigation with cultural protocols being upheld.

 

Given that these lost loved ones are buried within the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community, and with all community members still grappling with the effects of residential school, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief and Council first reached out to their community members to make them aware of the situation, albeit that it is still developing.

 

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc will continue to work with the ground penetrating radar specialist to complete the survey of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School grounds. In undertaking this current investigation, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief and Council would like to acknowledge the preliminary work that was carried out in the early 2000’s. With access to the latest technology, the true accounting of the missing students will hopefully bring some peace and closure to those lives lost and their home communities.

Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir stated, “We are thankful for the Pathway to Healing grant we received to undertake this important work. Given the size of the school, with up to 500 students registered and attending at any one time, we understand that this confirmed loss affects First Nations communities across British Columbia and beyond. We wish to ensure that our community members, as well as all home communities for the children who attended are duly informed. This is the beginning but, given the nature of this news, we felt it important to share immediately. At this time we have more questions than answers. We look forward to providing updates as they become available.”

 

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is following the necessary steps regarding these preliminary findings. This includes:

  • Engaging with the coroner.

  • Reaching out to the home communities who had children who attended the Kamloops Indian

    Residential School.

  • Taking measures to ensure that the locations of the remains are protected.

  • The Secwpemc Museum Archivist is working with the Royal British Columbia Museum,

    amongst others, to seek out any existing records of these deaths.

 

 

Please note that the Heritage Park is closed to the public and no one will be permitted on site for the duration of this sensitive work.

 

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc expect to complete preliminary findings by mid- June and will be providing updates as they become available.

 

– 30 



#69 spanky123

spanky123
  • Member
  • 16,633 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 07:46 PM

^ That sounds pretty balanced and accurate, too bad the MSM had to change it. 


  • Mike K. likes this

#70 spanky123

spanky123
  • Member
  • 16,633 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 07:46 PM

probably not.  he was born in 1908.  only CBC seems to have managed to find he died in 1998.

 

https://www.cbc.ca/n...chool-1.6047229

 

That is hilarious - the ultimate in virtue signaling.

 

I am sure the CBC only figured it out when they tried to ambush the guy to get his reaction on TV.


  • Victoria Watcher likes this

#71 qv

qv
  • Member
  • 167 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 08:00 PM

^ that misses historical context too. that people simply can't grasp today.

before the 50's and 60's there was zero government-provided healthcare. so middle-income and poor families had no "coverage" - indigenous or otherwise. professional healthcare was only for the 1%. and it was not very effective.


I'm not seeing how this misses the historical context when it is a person from that time describing something he himself saw as horrible.
  • Brayvehart likes this

#72 max.bravo

max.bravo
  • Member
  • 303 posts

Posted 31 May 2021 - 10:56 PM

I’m extremely curious to find out how they “confirmed” 215 children are buried there. Why is no media asking that question? Can we see the gpr imaging?

Reading between the lines of the news release, it’s obvious they do not plan to exhume any of the bodies. Notice how none of the “necessary steps” listed in bullet points is “exhume, scientifically examine, identify, and repatriate remains.” They will take the “culturally safe” route of not disturbing the bodies, therefore never actually confirming their claim.

Below is a NP interview with a university archeology / GPRspecialist - she explains the technology.

https://nationalpost...unmarked-graves

It is a small antenna, like a little box, that you pull along the surface of the ground and it sends, basically, a radio signal down into the earth and it looks for changes in the soil below the surface.

So it can map all kinds of things — it was actually originally developed for geology — but it can be applied in these contexts to look for graves. It doesn’t actually see the bodies. It’s not like an X-ray. What it actually does is it looks for the shaft.

When a grave is dug, there is a grave shaft dug and the body is placed in the grave, sometimes in a coffin, as in the Christian burial context. What the ground-penetrating radar can see is where that pit itself was dug, because the soil actually changes when you dig a grave. And occasionally, if it is a coffin, the radar can pick up the coffin sometimes as well.

Q: How do you know you’ve found a grave, instead of something else?

A: There are ways to be more confident that what you’re finding is a grave than, say, another form of pit, depending on the context. So if it’s in a formal cemetery, a series of pits in a row that are approximately six feet deep that show evidence of a coffin, you’d be pretty confident that you’re looking at graves.

It often takes further research to 100 per cent confirm that what you’re seeing is a grave


Edited by max.bravo, 31 May 2021 - 11:20 PM.


#73 Victoria Watcher

Victoria Watcher

    Old White Man On A Canadian Island

  • Member
  • 23,693 posts

Posted 01 June 2021 - 03:42 AM

Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops Indian Band) OFFICE OF THE CHIEF FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

May 27, 2021, Kamloops

 

– It is with a heavy heart that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir confirms an unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented by the Kamloops Indian Residential School. This past weekend, with the help of a ground penetrating radar specialist, the stark truth of the preliminary findings came to light – the confirmation of the remains of 215 children who were students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

 

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the home community of the Kamloops Indian Residential School which was the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system. As such, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Leadership acknowledges their responsibility to caretake for these lost children. “We had a knowing in our community that we were able to verify. To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” stated Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir. “Some were as young as three years old. We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the final resting place of these children.”

 

This work was undertaken by the C7élksten̓s re Secwépemc ne Ck̓úl ̓ tens ell ne Xqwelténs (Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Language and Culture Department) with ceremonial Knowledge Keepers who ensured that the work was conducted respectfully in light of the serious nature of the investigation with cultural protocols being upheld. Given that these lost loved ones are buried within the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community, and with all community members still grappling with the effects of residential school, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief and Council first reached out to their community members to make them aware of the situation, albeit that it is still developing.

 

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc will continue to work with the ground penetrating radar specialist to complete the survey of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School grounds. In undertaking this current investigation, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Chief and Council would like to acknowledge the preliminary work that was carried out in the early 2000’s. With access to the latest technology, the true accounting of the missing students will hopefully bring some peace and closure to those lives lost and their home communities. Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir stated, “We are thankful for the Pathway to Healing grant we received to undertake this important work.

 

Given the size of the school, with up to 500 students registered and attending at any one time, we understand that this confirmed loss affects First Nations communities across British Columbia and beyond. We wish to ensure that our community members, as well as all home communities for the children who attended are duly informed. This is the beginning but, given the nature of this news, we felt it important to share immediately. At this time we have more questions than answers. We look forward to providing updates as they become available.”

 

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is following the necessary steps regarding these preliminary findings. This includes:

 

• Engaging with the coroner.

• Reaching out to the home communities who had children who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

• Taking measures to ensure that the locations of the remains are protected.

• The Secwépemc Museum Archivist is working with the Royal British Columbia Museum, amongst others, to seek out any existing records of these deaths.

 

Please note that the Heritage Park is closed to the public and no one will be permitted on site for the duration of this sensitive work. Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc expect to complete preliminary findings by mid- June and will be providing updates as they become available.

 

 

 

https://tkemlups.ca/...DIA-RELEASE.pdf


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 01 June 2021 - 03:47 AM.


#74 spanky123

spanky123
  • Member
  • 16,633 posts

Posted 01 June 2021 - 05:41 AM

^ Will be interesting to see what they report later this month. Heritage park is a cultural tourist attraction. In that park is a large, older cemetery. I am assuming (maybe incorrectly) that the GPR detected unmarked ground disturbances that they interpreted as graves which is probably not an unreasonable assumption. It is interesting that the PR refers to a GPR specialist in the singular and companies that are experts in that field have offered opinions on the findings but then also stated they were not involved. I also find it interesting that apparently the search started 20 years ago. There has been improvements in GPR but grave locating has been around for 30 years+.

 

I tend to agree with Max Bravo that the problem with jumping to conclusions based on limited information is that now those conclusions are owned and any evidence that undermines those conclusions would have a negative impact on all other FN who are seeking funds to search school grounds. The safest route here is to leave everything in place, get the Feds to kick in $10M-$20M for a memorial and call it a day.

 

I note that lawyers are already calling for more lawsuits (and money) from the Feds.



#75 max.bravo

max.bravo
  • Member
  • 303 posts

Posted 01 June 2021 - 07:08 AM

Reddit post in r/AskEngineers How precise is ground penetrating radar? (regarding remains of 215 children found in BC)

https://www.reddit.c...tp_num_comments

First - as a Canadian - hell, as a human being - let me say i find this discover soul crushing. it is truly a dark part of canada's past, that we still need to properly acknowledge and deal with.

i am also a scientist (Ph.D, biological), and have to admit, part of my empirical scientist brain tweaked when i read the attached article announcing the discovery. An undocumented burial site, and they announce via a press conference (no data, no identification of who did the work) that remains of 215 children were found. I deal with science and science communication, and sometime poor media reporting, and the nerdy science part of my brain thought, "3 significant digits? Really." geezus, that sounds dark just typing it, but i have to admit, it is a question that is creeped in.

So, regarding ground-penetrating radar - which seems fascinating and which i know nothing about - for the discovery discussed in the attached article, how accurate/precise is 215? Does this mean 210 to 220? 200-300? 20 to 3000?

It is a horrific discovery, and I feel slighly ashamed asking this question, but I think subconsciously i want to be mentally prepared for what this preliminary finding of 215 may actual mean.

Top answer (33 upvotes):

Ground penetrating radar data is a mess. You can’t identify items, but you can find anomalies. If the ground has never been disturbed and someone digs a hole or trench and puts something in it, you can identify the edges of the excavation and the location of the thing. But you can’t even come close to identifying what the thing is. Maybe a rough size of the thing. And you can probably get an estimate of density or material.

If the ground in the same area is disturbed two times, you can no longer tell the extent of the individual excavations, but can still kind of see that there is a thing in the hole. The more digging done in a small area, the more your analysis becomes guesswork.

So the “some as young as three” comment? I can’t help but think that is the result of a followup excavation or wild guesswork based on perceived size of body.

 

 

Some interesting comments from people who seem familiar with GPR. It seems we can rule out the possibility of this being a single 'mass grave'; it's almost certainly 215 discrete pits. Sounds like the expert's 'confirmation' likely comes from some uniformity in the hole pattern/depth- which is how the expert in the NP article said they identify graves.

 

In that case, media should be reporting about an 'unmarked cemetery' and not 'mass grave(s)'. CNN's headline here is certainly fake news: Canadians demand action from officials as country mourns discovery of a mass grave of children's remains


Edited by max.bravo, 01 June 2021 - 07:11 AM.


#76 spanky123

spanky123
  • Member
  • 16,633 posts

Posted 01 June 2021 - 07:31 AM

^ As I mentioned there is a large cemetery at that site. If you look at pictures you will not that a significant portion of that cemetery does not have headstones or markers. I am thinking that is the part they scanned.

 

I don't think that Catholic nuns would just dump bodies into a pit. I am sure they were properly buried albeit without markers or documentation.


  • max.bravo likes this

#77 Danma

Danma
  • Member
  • 751 posts

Posted 01 June 2021 - 08:42 AM

^ that misses historical context too.  that people simply can't grasp today.

 

before the 50's and 60's there was zero government-provided healthcare.  so middle-income and poor families had no "coverage" - indigenous or otherwise.  professional healthcare was only for the 1%.  and it was not very effective.

That may all be true, but this pamplet was written in 1922 by a doctor of the time. Are you saying that he has no valid criticisms of how the government did way less to assist the needs of reserves and residential schools? I mean, my view is obviously tainted, but unless Dr. Bryce is a time traveller, I feel this document has points that support his suggestion that the government was being intentionally unhelpful.



#78 Victoria Watcher

Victoria Watcher

    Old White Man On A Canadian Island

  • Member
  • 23,693 posts

Posted 01 June 2021 - 08:46 AM

not sure a doctor in 1922 had any idea about anything medically.  you probably needed little or no formal training or license back then.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 01 June 2021 - 08:47 AM.


#79 Danma

Danma
  • Member
  • 751 posts

Posted 01 June 2021 - 09:18 AM

not sure a doctor in 1922 had any idea about anything medically.  you probably needed little or no formal training or license back then.

 

Maybe so, but still, you're talking about a situation in which people living in cities were getting 3.5x as much public money spent on fighting TB than on first nations and in residential schools, despite the rates of infection being significantly higher in those places.

I get that medical standards were the way they were, and perhaps outcomes would have not been much different regardless of what was done... but there is a strong argument that the government just didn't see value in helping "Indians" based on their funding priorities of the time. This is a question of due diligence, not medical capability.


  • Brayvehart likes this

#80 Victoria Watcher

Victoria Watcher

    Old White Man On A Canadian Island

  • Member
  • 23,693 posts

Posted 01 June 2021 - 09:31 AM

Not unusual. government didn’t fund much back then. no medical system. no welfare or unemployment system.

You're not quite at the end of this discussion topic!

Use the page links at the lower-left to go to the next page to read additional posts.
 



1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users