Canada to pay compensation after discovery of 215 children's bodies

By Te Ao - Māori News

A memorial on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after the remains of 215 children were found Photo/Jennifer Gauthier: Reuters

Canada has reached a proposed settlement with a group of indigenous survivors of the defunct residential schools for the abuse they suffered.

The settlement comes as the Canadian government deals with a national outcry after the remains of 215 indigenous children were discovered at a former Indian residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The discovery was announced on Thursday by the chief of the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation in May.

The children were believed to be as young as three and there is no documentation of their deaths and unmarked graves.

The government has been under pressure to stop legally opposing indigenous people’s requests for compensation and acknowledgement in court following the discovery.

With the latest agreement, the government will provide C$10,000 ($11,494.00) to each survivor involved in the class action lawsuit and create a C$50 million ($57.5 million) to support wellbeing and cultural led by first nations people.

The Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia once housed 500 children / REUTERS.

Kamloops Indian Residential School was opened under Roman Catholic Church administration in 1890.

It was the largest school in the residential system and had as many as 500 students enrolled in the 1950s.

The central government took over administration of the school in 1969, operating it as a residence for local students until 1978, when it was closed.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it was a "painful reminder" of a "shameful chapter of our country's history".