The former Kamloops Indian Residential School, where what’s believed to be the remains of 215 Indigenous children were recently found, is seen in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School, where what’s believed to be the remains of 215 Indigenous children were recently found, is seen in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Royal British Columbia Museum working with Indigenous groups on school records

The museum has 250 boxes of materials, a third of which relate to residential schools run by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

The acting head of the Royal British Columbia Museum’s archives says the institution will work closely with Indigenous groups as it processes and documents records from a religious order that ran residential schools across the province.

Genevieve Weber says the museum has about 250 boxes of materials, a third of which relate to residential schools run by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

She says the records range from financial statements and letters to diaries of daily life, known as a Codex Historicus.

She says the museum started to receive and process the records in 2019, and has been reaching out to Indigenous communities mentioned in them to discuss how they would like to proceed in terms of disclosure.

Weber says the focus is to determine with Indigenous communities, such as the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc in Kamloops, what personal details in the records they are comfortable releasing so as not to cause further harm.

She says the records should be available to researchers by 2022.

“In the past, when we’ve done engagement, it’s normally after the records have been available to the general public for some time. But we felt it was really important, due to the sensitive nature of these records, to reach out to Indigenous communities first,” Weber said.

The First Nation announced last week that it had found what are believed to be the remains of 215 children at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Since then, there have been calls for better access to records from schools across the country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also urged the Catholic Church to release more documents on Friday.

The Oblates ran 10 residential schools across British Columbia.

Father Ken Thorson, the provincial superior of the Oblates, said the organization had looked at making the records available in 2015 but the effort stalled.

Weber said having access to the records has already resulted in some developments in identifying residential school students. She travelled to Kamloops, where she was able to share digitized photo albums and listen to residential school survivors.

“We were able to identify a number of people in the album who had not been identified,” she said. “Instead of having a photo album with no names identified, we now have an album with about 80 people identified in it.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Indigenousresidential schools

Just Posted

Some algae is visible at the swimming ponds at Millennium Park. Photo: Betsy Kline
City of Castlegar says Millennium Ponds safe, in spite of algae

Water samples are regularly sent to Interior Health

Black Press file photo
City of Castlegar plans to offer dumpster for small amounts of summer garbage

Bear Smart initiative looking to reduce wildlife conflict

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read