“All of us – no matter where we are – are horrified about the discovery of 215 bodies of young children, some as young as three years old,” Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP Jamie Schmale tells the MyHaliburtonNow.com newsroom.
The unmarked graves were found on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. with Schmale adding it’s “absolutely horrific” what was uncovered. He says residential schools are a “big stain” on Canadian history.
A special “take-note debate” was held Tuesday in the House of Commons, which Schmale was a part of. CTV News reports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged the federal government would support preserving the gravesites and working to uncover potentially more unmarked graves at other sites. “Some people with connections to indigenous communities in their ridings say that – and this is horrible to say – that they weren’t surprised that it was found,” Schmale says. “They were surprised at the number of bodies found.”
“It’s a bigger issue than just this one location,” Schmale went on to say.
Trudeau said that he will work hand-in-hand with Indigenous leaders to figure out what the right way to proceed is.
In the days since the unmarked graves were uncovered, government buildings across the country have lowered their flags to half-mast to honour the lives lost. The County of Haliburton tweeted Monday that they will be keeping all flags to half-mast for 215 hours.