NDP seeks emergency debate following discovery of children’s remains at Kamloops residential school

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is seeking an emergency debate in the House of Commons following the discovery of the bodies of 215 children at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

The bodies of the 215 children were discovered during a search of the grounds of the former residential school, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced Thursday. A statement from the First Nation said that the missing children, some as young as three years old, were undocumented deaths.

In a letter to the Speaker on Monday, Singh said questions need to be asked about the Kamloops residential school and other schools, and immediate concrete measures need to be taken.

“This discovery of these children last week is a sad reminder of Canada’s genocidal actions against Indigenous peoples,” Singh wrote to the Speaker of the House in a letter on Monday.

Visitors created a memorial at the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 30 honouring the memory of 215 children found buried at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. (Olivier Hyland/CBC)

“As Parliament resumes from its weekend break it is imperative that an opportunity be provided to Parliamentarians to discuss this colonial genocide. Important questions deserve to be asked about this and other schools, and immediate concrete measures need to be taken as a way to seek justice and uphold the rule of law.”

A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. Emotional and crisis referral services can be accessed by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.

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