The former Kamloops Indian Residential School is seen on Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops, B.C. on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Federal New Democrats are calling for an emergency debate in the House of Commons on the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Snucins

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School is seen on Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops, B.C. on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Federal New Democrats are calling for an emergency debate in the House of Commons on the recent discovery of the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Snucins

Trudeau promises more support for Indigenous Peoples after unmarked graves found

Prime minister says this not an exception or isolated incident, supports call for emergency debate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is “appalled” at the “shameful policy” that ripped Indigenous children from their families and placed them in residential schools — a policy that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission found in 2015 amounted to a “cultural genocide.”

Trudeau offered sombre words today about the remains of 215 children on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, calling it “heartbreaking news.”

He says he plans to speak with his three cabinet ministers who oversee Indigenous policy and funding on what steps must be done to support survivors, families and Indigenous Peoples.

Federal New Democrats are calling for an emergency debate in the House of Commons on the grisly discovery in British Columbia.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says the government has not done enough to implement the 94 calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which spent years studying the government-sponsored, church-run institutions.

A number of the commission’s calls to action focus on the horrors inflicted on children and made recommendations on how governments, justice systems and church officials should try to locate, name and commemorate those who died.

Trudeau signalled he supports Singh’s call for an emergency debate.

“Sadly, this is not an exception or an isolated incident. We have to acknowledge the truth: residential schools were a reality, a tragedy that existed here in our country and we have to own up to it,” Trudeau says.

“People are hurting and we must be there for survivors.”

Singh says it is not good enough for the Liberal government to offer platitudes and make symbolic gestures, such as lowering flags on Parliament Hill to half-mast.

He wants the government to do more, working in partnership with First Nations communities, to investigate and fully fund identification of other sites where children were buried in unmarked graves.

When asked about his message to families mourning the loss of their children, Singh paused for a long time at his podium, tears in his eyes, replying only that he is sorry and will fight for justice for these families.

—Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press

RELATED: Petition calls for day of mourning for children found buried at former B.C. residential school

RELATED: B.C. teacher says students could be triggered by residential school discovery

Federal PoliticsIndigenousJustin Trudeauresidential schools

Just Posted

The plan for a three-storey, multi-family building on Second Street hit a setback on a recent provincial grant application. Record file photo
Province turns down grant for Cumberland project

Groups spearheading project may look to federal grant, say village staff

A young bear found deceased at the side of the road in the Comox Valley has conservation officers looking for answers around its death. Black Press file photo
Conservation seeking information for deceased Comox Valley bear

A young bear was found deceased at the side of the road near Kitty Coleman Park

Tools of the trade at the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Photo by Terry Farrell
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

A look at the first stage of the treatment process - where binding of solids and particles in the raw water happens before the water moves to filtration. Photo, CVRD
Water to flow soon from new Comox Valley treatment plant

“We are at our last major hurdle before achieving this critical goal.”

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox looking at the future of transportation in the town

Council adopted the 2020 Transportation Master Plan Update

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read