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Update on suspected Tke̓ mlúps burial site as nation signs historic agreement

Tke̓ mlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir says the excavation of the suspected unmarked graves of children who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School has not yet started.

“That is a very sensitive step moving forward and definitely would entail a lot of steps in place and conversations and working with our survivors and community and the nations that have been impacted,” Casimir said at a press conference on Thursday.

The update came during a press conference between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, Roman Catholic Diocese of Kamloops and Tke̓ mlúps te Secwépemc announcing a significant step on the path of truth and reconciliation with a new Sacred Covenant to be signed Easter Sunday after a visit to the site of the school.

The Sacred Covenant outlines a historical record, shared truths and commitments to action, including ways to memorialize the children of residential schools, information sharing and transparency to identify and determine the truth related to missing children, and sharing archives and records in Catholic possession.

“I was part of a historical journey to address the Roman Catholic Church at the highest level, meeting the Holy See himself, representing our survivors and our people that brought forth their messages with the hope of building meaningful steps towards reconciliation while seeking justice in whatever forum our people seek on the atrocities that took place at Roman Catholic-run Indian Residential Schools with the realities of representing a First Nation still moving forward the aftermath of a school and the sacred care of unmarked burials,” Casimir said.

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.

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