From the 19th century to the 1970s, more than 150,000 local children were required to visit local boarding schools.
In place of the once largest boarding school in Canada, a mass producer was found, leaving 215 children, some up to 3 years old.
The school is one of the institutions that educates indigenous children taken from families across the country.
Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation chief Rosana Casimir said in a news release that the wreckage was confirmed last weekend by ground penetrating radar.
The former boarding house is located in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. The remains of 215 children have been found so far, but more bodies can be found as there are more search areas in the school area, Kazimir said on Friday.
In an earlier edition, she called the discovery “an unthinkable loss that is talked about but never documented in the boarding house.” It was once the site of Canada’s largest housing school.
From the 19th century to the 1970s, more than 150,000 local children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools as part of a program to assimilate them into Canadian society. They were forced to accept Christianity and were not allowed to speak their native languages. Many were beaten and verbally abused, and about 6,000 died, according to information gathered.
The Canadian government apologized to parliament in 2008 and acknowledged that physical and sexual violence in schools was widespread.
Many students remember being beaten to speak their native language; they have also lost touch with their parents and their customs.
Local leaders cite isolation and severe restrictions as the main cause of epidemic levels of alcoholism and drug addiction among alumni.
A report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission more than five years ago said that at least 3,200 children had died as a result of abuse and neglect, and reported that at least 51 deaths had been reported at the Kamloops school alone between 1915 and 1963.