Guest: Kisha Supernant, Director of the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology and associate professor at the University of Alberta
After the discovery of 215 Indigenous children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, there are renewed calls from Indigenous leaders, advocates and residential school survivors to search the grounds of every residential school in Canada for more hidden burial sites. While once denied by the Canadian government, it is an important step in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)’s calls to action. While the TRC estimates 4,100 Indigenous children died in the residential school system, the true number is much higher, underlining a horrifying truth that countless Indigenous children who were taken from their families were never going to return home.
Today on “This Matters,” an Indigenous archaeologist reflects on the discovery in Kamloops, explains how radar technology helps find burial sites in a culturally respectful way and the reckoning that will follow in finding the full truth behind Canada’s residential school system.
A warning that the podcast might be distressing to some listeners.
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The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of a residential school experience. Support is available at 1-866-925-4419.
Adrian Cheung is a co-host and producer on the Star’s podcast team. He is based in Toronto. Reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org