The remains of 215 children, including some as young as three, have been found in a mass grave on the grounds of a former residential school that was once part of a nationwide effort in Canada to separate Indigenous children from their families in an attempt to assimilate them.
"The story is so unreal, that yesterday it became real for a lot of us in this community", he said.
The school system began to shut down in the 1970s, and the Kamloops Indian Residential School closed in 1978. The federal government took over the institution and ran it as a day school until the facility was closed in 1978.
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It found more than 4,100 children died while attending residential school.
The leadership of the Tk'emlups community "acknowledges their responsibility to caretake for these lost children", Casimir said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was a "painful reminder" of a "shameful chapter of our country's history".
"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", Casimir said in the initial release issued late Thursday. That process is still ongoing with many community members still grappling with the effects of the residential school system.
Indigenous communities in and around the area are reacting to the horrific discovery of more than 200 bodies of children being found at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.
The report documented horrific physical abuse, rape, malnutrition and other atrocities suffered by numerous 150,000 children who attended the schools.
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"I'm thinking about each mother who stood there, waiting for their child, maybe watching other children come home, and asking, 'Where's my child?'"
"The news that remains were found at the former Kamloops residential school breaks my heart", Mr Trudeau wrote in a tweet.
"We call upon Canada, and all of those who call yourselves Canadians, to witness and recognize the truth of our collective history".
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The Catholic Church ran the Kamloops Indian Residential school between 1890 and 1969.
He says he entered the school in 1966 along with most of his siblings.
"We need you to catch up and we need you to feel the same things", she said.
Diseases, such as tuberculosis, neglect, child abuse and malnourishment were some of the main causes of death.
"I have forgiven, I have forgiven my parents, I have forgiven my abusers, I have broken the chain that held me back at that school, I don't want to live there anymore but at the same time make sure that the people who didn't come home are acknowledged and respected and brought home in a good way", he said. It found that in many cases, families never learned the fate of their offspring, who are now known as the missing children.