Former Chair of Truth and Reconciliation Commission Says Discovery of 215 Bodies Found at Former Kamloops Residential School Should Not be a Surprise

The former Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says their analysis indicated children in residential schools were dying at a higher rate than soldiers in the Second World War.

Murray Sinclair spoke with the Conference Board of Canada for National Indigenous Day.

The retired Senator says the report identified 3,200 names, and it was estimated the true number could be twice that and possibly as high as 15-to-20,000.

Sinclair also noted the 1907 Bryce Report from Canada’s first Chief Medical Officer of the Department of the Interior, Peter Bryce, who indicated the death rate in residential schools was between 24 and 49 per cent.

Because of this information, Sinclair suggests people shouldn’t have been surprised by the 215 bodies found at the former residential school in Kamloops.

He adds that the Commission tried to get extra funding to delve more into the missing children from residential schools, but was denied by the federal government.

Sinclair believes it they had been given that opportunity, the work of determining where the burial sites are and identifying the children and the circumstances would be a lot further ahead.


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