I’m at this event this morning.
Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir speaking & reiterates a message to survivors “we believe you & we love you.” She talks about how children were forced into the Kamloops Indian Residential and came from Alberta, Yukon and even the U.S. including all over BC. “These are undocumented deaths”
She says the community and other First Nations have been inundated with requests from GPR specialists and says not all companies are doing so in good faith and says "not all opportunities are created equally."
"We need practical supports in our community to undertake this work that will take significant time and resources." "We need to give the children the dignity they never had."
Dr. Lisa Hodgetts, president of the Canadian Archaeological Association now takes the stage.
I should say, I am the CBC delegate, chosen by the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc, today.
Dr. Lisa Hodgetts is part of a working group for Indigenous people looking for/finding unmarked graves. She is talking about the importance of recognizing respectful practices and for outside experts to understand the culture, ceremony, and autonomy of communities.
She is calling on all institutions who have records to release them immediately so that they can find where the graves may be.
"Mapping of the site around the former schools will be particularly important. Many schools were built and rebuilt over time so it's important to have as much of that info as well. It is also important to document construction of the area."
"It is important to narrow the scope and focus on more specific areas where ground-penetrating radar can be done."
She says it’s important to understand laws that could affect excavation.
We are now hearing from Andrew Martindale - Department of Anthropology at UBC.
He is talking about ground penetrating radar as a tool for Indigenous communities. Developed in the 1970s became more used in the 2000s when the self-contained equipment became available and when ppl gained more interest in finding ancestral remains.
He is talking about how GPR works. He is looking for the brave shafts themselves not remains.
GPR is not 100% certain he says but confidence can be gained with larger conversations (oral history).
Up now. Dr. Kisha Supernant (Métis/Papaschase/British) is the Director of the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology and an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta
She is talking about other forms of remote sensing technologies for survivors and family members to find their loved ones.
One way to look at the impressions and reliefs in the ground.
A camera can present different spectrals of light that can demonstrate changes in the vegetation and environment.
Lidar makes a topographical map of the area to support other ground based remote sensors like GPR. Aerial methods can be quicker than GPR. They can see through ground cover.
GPR is the most established method.
For those needing mental health, emotional, and cultural support:
24/7 National Crisis Lines
National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSS) Crisis Line: 1-800-721-0066
Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program (IRSRHSP)
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador: 1-866-414-8111
Quebec: 1-877-583-2965
Ontario: 1-888-301-6426
Manitoba: 1-866-818-3505
Saskatchewan: 1-866-250-1529
Alberta: 1-888-495-6588
British Columbia: 1-877-477-0775
Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut: 1-800-464-8106
We are now hearing from Ted Gottfriedson, Department Manager at Tk'emlups te Secwepemc. He will be speaking about what the community has been facing.
He says “we decided now was the time to find the children.”That was right before the pandemic hit. “It was really important on advice of an elder that all the search take place with spiritual knowledge keepers to include our ways of knowing in this process.”

“It is the survivors who tell us where to search and our next target should be the old dump site of the residential school and the horrible stories of children being thrown in the garbage dump.”
“It’s been very emotional, tiring but also uplifting to see people coming together in prayer/ ceremony.” But if you are a community doing this it will be long days w/ little breaks, it’s been a whirlwind of activity but we need to take time to get it right and we are not done.”
We are now listening to Dr. Beaulieu -- a sessional instructor in Anthropology and Sociology at the University of the Fraser Valley. She did the GPR at the former Kamloops residential school.
Someone is asking how to detect missing children in walls of former schools. Expert says that would be a very challenging task.
Dr. Kisha says cadaver dogs may need to be used.
this is hard to process
I decided not to include these details in the headline or deck (in my story to come), before people had time to read the warning as it is just way too triggering.
Here is the story: cbc.ca/news/canada/br…
If you are experiencing trauma or feeling triggered, help is available 24/7 for survivors and their families through the Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419. The IRSS provides info about these and other supports that are available: irsss.ca
Mental health support for Indigenous peoples across the land we call Canada is available through the Hope for Wellness chatline at 1-800-721-0066 or using the chat box at hopeforwellness.ca.
Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc leaders say some companies taking advantage of those searching for missing loved ones

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10 Jun
JUST IN: Victoria City Council voted unanimously to cancel Canaday Day. Instead, "the City will produce a broadcast to air later this summer guided by the Lekwungen people and featuring local artists, that explores what it means to be Canadian, in light of recent events."
“As First Nations mourn & in light of challenging moment we are in as a Canadian nation following discovery of remains of 215 children at former Residential School, Council decided to take time to explore new possibilities, instead of the previously planned virtual Canada Day..."
"..broadcast,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. In their decision Council noted that while everyone will mark Canada Day in their own way on July 1, now is a time where the City can take leadership and provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and examination of what it...
Read 5 tweets
4 Jun
Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimir is providing an update to the media and the community is letting the journalists know that this is a trauma-informed press conference -- this may be something very new to non-Indigenous journalists but very familiar to Indigenous ones.
"Please know that Indigenous people across Canada are being heard and Indigenous people are feeling the deep wounds of the impacts of residential school."
"We please ask that you (journalists) do trauma-informed interviews."
Read 10 tweets
17 May
I am up for an Academy Award (CSA) tonight for a story I covered about an Indigenous man & his 12-year-old grandaughter handcuffed in front of BMO while trying to open her first account there. When I heard the story,I didn't want to believe it.Have a read.
But when I started to make calls, it became clear (from Maxwell, BMO & the VPD) that this was very real. A BMO teller told a 911 operator that "two South Asian people" were committing a fraud, stating she thought their Indian Status cards were fake.
And we found, he wasn't the only one to encounter being accused of using fake ID while trying to do business in Canada with government-issued ID (status cards).
Read 14 tweets

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