Kimberly Murray, executive director of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, says there is evidence that at least 4,000 indigenous children died in residential schools.

More Than 4,000 Indigenous Children Died in Canada’s Residential Schools: Commission


The dark years of the residential schools era in Canada have long obscured the fate of many of the 150,000 indigenous children who were taken from their families from the 1860s through the 1990s and “educated” with the goal of “killing the Indian in the child,” as the motto went.

Though about 80,000 of these former students survive, many were never accounted for. Until now.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), mandated to unmask what really went on at the schools, has documented the deaths of at least 4,000 children during that chapter in Canada’s history. And that’s just the ones they know about, Postmedia News reported on January 3.

The figures, based on only partial federal government records, is expected to rise as more complete records come to light, Postmedia News said.

From fires, to abuse, to disease, even to suicide, indigenous children died in droves. They were buried in unmarked graves near the schools because the Canadian government did not want to pay to have them shipped back home. Moreover, in many cases the parents were never told what happened to their children, Postmedia News said.

A lack of fire escapes was one glaring example of how the system not only didn’t care for the children but also outrightly put them in danger. Many schools refused to install fire escapes, instead putting poles outside of windows for children to slide down, fireman style. But with windows locked to prevent escape, children were unable to reach the poles, PostMedia News said. Neither were there sprinkler systems, despite numerous reports calling the schools firetraps and recommending the measures.

“It’s amazing that they didn’t make those corrections in those schools,” said TRC Executive Director Kimberly Murray, in an interview with PostMedia News. “There are just so many deaths that I think could have been prevented if they had done what they were supposed to do.”

Part of the commission’s work has been to establish a data base of the children’s names, cause of death and burial places, known as “The Missing Children Project,” Postmedia News said. The TRC’s full report, due out in 2015, will tell the full story of the deceased children.

Full story: At Least 4,000 Aboriginal Children Died in Residential Schools, Commission Finds

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bausercj's picture
Submitted by bausercj on
And I thought the USA was bad, Canada is on the same level as the USA. Karma, DO YOUR JOB!!! Thank you Holy Spirit, You know what they need to remind them to do onto others as they would have others do onto them.

bausercj's picture
Submitted by bausercj on
And I thought the USA was bad, Canada is on the same level as the USA. Karma, DO YOUR JOB!!! Thank you Holy Spirit, You know what they need to remind them to do onto others as they would have others do onto them.

Henri Chevillard
Henri Chevillard
Submitted by Henri Chevillard on
According to a report by Dr. Peter Bryce - 50 to 60% of Residential School Children were dying. The report was hidden and the 'rule of law' of forced attendance was instituted. The Governments contention of only 4,000 deaths is at best, under-reported at worse a continued lie. http://www3.brandonu.ca/library/cjns/26.2/01green.pdf

boujoie's picture
Submitted by boujoie on
As I complete my application, preparing to submit it to our Mackinac Bands of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians for review, I feel both eager and trepedatious. Eager to finally learn the specific customs & language that were kept from me; trepedatious because I don't know the customs & language that are my birthright. Growing up, hearing Daddy declare "this ole' Indian" of himself kept me curious. but I didn't understand why he wouldn't tell me more -- and why my Grandfather denied, almost until he died, that he wasn't an Indian. Shortly before he dropped his robes, after being pressed by my uncle Zane, Grampa said, "we be Anishinaabe". Daddy once told me that Gramma was terrified that her 3 Bourisseau boys would slip into their true customs or language and not only be kicked out of the boarding school, but perhaps disappear forever. Trauma was at the core of their lives. Daddy began to speak with more authenticity in his latter years. He told us stories of his Grandfather secretly taking him out into the woods to teach him the ways of the natural and spirit worlds. As he let the energy and form of his beautiful woodcarvings emerge, they displayed his intimate connection with his pieces of wood. After reading this article, I better understand the deep sense of anger I've always felt. I had nothing to pin it on -- and I really worked on it. My early alcoholism ran rampant until I eventually realized it would never be "solved". Only relying on our Creator, with gratitude for what I do have, has brought me the peace I craved for so long. Blessings of Peace, Renewal and Regeneration with us ALL Joie Bourisseau