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When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its final report in 2015, it shocked the nation.
At the time, the commission’s chair, Murray Sinclair, estimated there were over 6,000 deaths at residential schools, though the actual number could be far higher. Volume 4 of the TRC report noted that the residential school death rate peaked in the late 1920s at more than five times the rate of the general population. That the last school was closed in 1997 makes the tragedy all the more unimaginable.
Those who cast doubt on the report’s findings could not ignore the grim discovery of over 200 potential burial sites on the grounds of a former residential school on the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, followed by 751 unmarked graves at a cemetery near the former Marieval Indian Residential School on the Cowessess First Nation, east of Regina.
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