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How Many More Indigenous Children Are Buried Near Canada's Residential Schools?

Kamloops Residential School Memorial, May 30th 2021
Kamloops Residential School Memorial, May 30th 2021

On this edition of Your Call, we're discussing the impact of Indian residential schools in Canada. Last month, a mass grave site of 215 Indigenous children was found at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.

Between 1883 and 1996, an estimated 150,000 Indigenous children in Canada were forced to attend residential schools, mostly operated by churches. They wouldn't allow children to speak their native languages, see their families, or practice their cultural traditions. Indigenous communities are demanding investigations at every former school site. How many more children are buried?


Tanya Talaga, Ojibwe journalist, filmmaker, columnist for The Globe and Mail, CEO of Makwa Creative, a production company focused on Indigenous storytelling, author of All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward and Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City, and host of the podcast Seven Truths

Cindy Blackstock, member of the Gitxsan First Nation, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, and professor in the School of Social Work at McGill University

Web Resources:

CBC, Jorge Barrera: Lost children

The Guardian, Cindy Blackstock & Pamela Palmater: The discovery of mass unmarked graves in Canada has Indigenous people asking: how many more?

The Globe and Mail, Tanya Talaga: It’s time to bring our children home from the residential schools

The Globe and Mail: Catholic Church ran most of Canada’s residential schools, yet remains largely silent about their devastating legacy

NationalPost, Tristin Hopper: 'I learned how to hate': What it was like to attend Kamloops Indian Residential School

Lea is a producer for Your Call on KALW Local Public Radio. She graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in 2018.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.