Canada mourns as remains of 215 children found at closed indigenous boarding school

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The remains of 215 children have been discovered on the grounds of a former boarding school set up more than a century ago to assimilate Canada’s indigenous peoples, according to a local tribe.

A specialist used ground-penetrating radar to confirm the remains of the students who attended the school near Kamloops, British Columbia, the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc tribe said in a statement late Thursday.

“Some were as young as three years old,” said chief Rosanne Casimir, calling it “an unthinkable loss that was spoken about but never documented” by school administrators.

Its preliminary findings are expected to be released in a report next month, she said.

In the meantime, the tribe is working wit the coroner and museums to try to shed further light on the horrific discovery and find any records of these deaths.

It is also reaching out to the students’ home communities across British Columbia and beyond.

The “distressing” discovery of the remains “breaks my heart,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a Twitter message.

“It is a painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter of our country’s history,” he said.

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