Discovery of unmarked graves The Canadian Press makes the news of the year

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VICTORIA — The discovery of unmarked graves at a former boarding school in the interior of British Columbia and the national awakening it sparked have been chosen as the Canadian news of the year by the editors of the halls of editors across the country.

There were 38 editors in the Canadian Press’s annual poll who chose the discovery of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School as the most compelling and revealing story of 2021.

That compares with 31 votes for rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine in Canada and 13 for climate change and British Columbia’s weather which saw massive fires in the summer and flooding in the fall.

The story broke last May when the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation in Kamloops said a search of the old school with ground-penetrating radar found what were believed to be the remains of up to to 215 children.

Tk’emlups leader Rosanne Casimir said at the time that they had “knowledge” in their community that missing children were undocumented dead.

The Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan then used the same technology to discover 751 unmarked graves, and the First Nations of Brantford, Ontario, and Williams Lake, British Columbia, are looking for residential school sites in their territory.

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If you are a distressed former Indian Residential School student or have been impacted by the Indian Residential School system and need help, you can contact the 24-hour Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925 -4419

Additional mental health support and resources for Indigenous people are available here.

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