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B.C. First Nation at heart of unmarked graves discovery honouring truth and reconciliation day

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A First Nation that announced more than 200 unmarked burial sites had been found at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C., is inviting people to mark Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

The Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc Nation has shared a video to help people learn the Secwepemc Honour Song to drum and sing at 2:15 p.m. PT on Sept. 30.

Read more: Work underway for forensics experts to identify and repatriate B.C. school remains

Chief Rosanne Casimir said news of the unmarked burial sites sparked a global outpouring of support and the invitation offers a way for people to connect.

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‘They were children robbed of their families and their childhood’: Residential school survivors share their truth – Jul 15, 2021

The nation encouraged participants to teach the honour song in schools, workplaces and at home.

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Read more: Mapping the missing: Former residential school sites in Canada and the search for unmarked graves

Since May, several other First Nations have reported finding unmarked graves or suspected remains around former residential institutions in their territories.

Casimir said the nation has been working to decide what happens next at the Kamloops site, and that it’s set to share updates at an event scheduled next month.

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