By Michael Boriero
The horrific discovery of the remains of 215 First Nations children buried in a mass grave at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C. sent shockwaves throughout the country, reigniting the pain and anger felt by many in the Indigenous community.
“It was very sad, I felt really heartbroken,” said Nikki Baribeau, Cree from Mistissini. “There were so many children in a mass grave, and I had a really hard time processing it because we’ve been saying this for so long, like where are our children?”
But Baribeau, an education student at Bishop’s University and a member of the Indigenous Cultural Alliance (ICA), also felt a sense of relief. She believes this shocking revelation will force people to pay attention, and it will help locate more missing and murdered children.
Baribeau added that the outpouring of support and recognition by communities in Canada has been a welcomed sight. Many municipalities have lowered their flags to half-mast, and cities and towns across the nation have gathered and displayed 215 pairs of shoes.
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