Kuper Island Residential School/ Photo by CBC News

Canada (IP) - A Canadian First Nation tribe, Penelakut, says it has discovered more than 160 'undocumented and unmarked' graves in British Columbia's Southern Gulf Islands, which was also once home to the Kuper Island Residential School.

Iran PressAmerica: The tribe informed neighboring First Nations communities of the discovery in a newsletter posted online, CBC News reported. 

"We are inviting you to join us in our work to raise awareness of the Kuper Island Industrial School, and Confirmation of the 160+ undocumented and unmarked graves in our grounds and foreshore," the notice said. 

The school operated from 1890 to the 1970s on Penelakut Island, formerly known as Kuper Island, among the Southern Gulf Islands.

A series of similar, grim announcements followed, linked to former residential schools in B.C. and Saskatchewan.

In all, 130 boarding schools forcibly separated more than 150,000 indigenous children from their families. They had them attend state-funded schools in a campaign aimed at forcibly assimilating the minors into Canadian society. Thousands of children died of disease, malnutrition, neglect, and other causes at the schools, where physical as well as sexual abuse was rife.

Indigenous people, who make up less than 5% of the population, face higher levels of poverty and violence and shorter life expectancies.


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