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

This black GM Terrain crosses the centre line and collided with an oncoming GMC Acadia in Langley, flipping both vehicles. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Survivors of rollover crash in Langley thank Good Samaritans for coming to their aid

Collision flipped vehicle into a 10-foot ditch on 16th Avenue

Participants in the 2019 Valley GranFondo wait for the starting signal in 2019. The event, which had to be called off because of the pandemic, is tentatively set to resume in 2022. (Langley Advance Times file)
No GranFondo cycling event in Fort Langley this year

Organizer hopes to be back for 2022

Shannon Todd Booth, the Langley Hospice Society communication and funds manager, with some of the ceramic hearts on sale at Saturday’s fundraiser at the Fort Langley Community Hall. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
First in-person fundraiser by Langley Hospice Society a success

For society volunteers and members of the Fraser Valley Potters Guild, it was a good day

Langley standup comedian Susan Thompson said the cost of her return-to-Canada quarantine in hotel was more than she made during a working trip to the U.S. (Canadian Press/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An expensive return home for Langley standup comedian

Susan Thompson scored work in Las Vegas, but a compulsory hotel COVID quarantine put her in the red

New Langley dining establishment The Barley Merchant was staffing up to open. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
With dining-in back on the menu, Langley restaurants are getting busy again

With the end of the ‘circuit breaker,’ staff are being hired and new looks are being unveiled

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heatwave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

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

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Most Read