Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to visit the indigenous community of Kamloops, where the remains of 215 children were found in a former residential school in May, it was announced on Friday.
This would be the prime minister’s first visit to the site of the British Columbia community in the west of the country, as unmarked graves were uncovered, sparking fury across the country.
A statement from the Kamloops community said Trudeau would travel on October 18.
In early June, Trudeau acknowledged Canada’s mistake and laid a wreath near the Centennial Flame, a memorial in front of parliament in Ottawa, which was turned into an improvised memorial for the occasion.
The prime minister admitted last week that he made a “mistake” after filming with his family on a beach in British Columbia on 30 September, the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation aimed at paying tribute to the victims of residential schools. .
After Trudeau publicly apologized, the indigenous community of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc said it regretted not responding to two letters of invitation sent to the prime minister to attend a tribute ceremony.
“The lack of response to our invitations was an added insult, as they never extended their sympathetic hand to our community after hearing the official announcement on May 27, 2021,” the community said in a statement.
In recent months, more than 1,000 anonymous graves have been found near former Catholic Indian residential schools, shedding light on a dark page in Canada’s history and First Nations policy of forced assimilation.
In all, approximately 150,000 Indian, Métis and Inuit children were enrolled in 139 residential schools in Canada from the late 1800s to the 1990s, spending months or years separated from their families, language and culture. .
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