The discovery of a mass grave of 215 bodies of Indigenous children near a former residential school in British Columbia raises questions about the fate of those who attended similar institutions in Quebec.
• Read also: Remains of Indigenous children: a discovery that shakes Canada
• Read also: Remains of 215 Indigenous children found in British Columbia
Since Sunday, all the flags of the federal buildings have been at half mast to mark the death of these students from the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation who stayed at the former Kamloops boarding school. The youngest were 3 years old.
“As a mom, it’s hard to believe that it’s part of our history,” says Daisy House, leader of the Cree community of Chisasibi, in Nord-du-Québec, many of whose members attended residential schools.
Before the discovery of this mass grave, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada had counted 3,201 child deaths in these establishments, including 38 in 12 residential schools in Quebec.
However, some indigenous communities doubt the accuracy of this figure.
“There may be more. These are the families who could relate it. In the Aboriginal communities, there are many things that are not said, but that we know, ”says Jean-Marie Vollant, leader of the Innu community of Pessamit, on the North Shore.
“There are some here looking for their aunt or uncle [qui ne sont jamais revenus du pensionnat]. We don’t know if they are alive or not, ”adds Anishnabe leader Adrienne Jerôme from Lac-Simon, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, whose community has approximately 375 former residents.
“Our elders tell us it’s more than  Ms. House says from Chisasibi.
All three would like to see further research or excavation to trace indigenous children who are still missing, a request also made by the Assembly of First Nations.
Launching such research is an option, admitted Justin Trudeau during a press briefing on Monday.
“As a father, I can’t imagine what it would be like to have my children taken away. And as Prime Minister, I am appalled by the shameful policies that have torn aboriginal children from their communities, ”said the Prime Minister.
While waiting for concrete actions, several indigenous communities organized moving commemorations on Monday in front of 215 small pairs of shoes.
Prime Minister François Legault and Mayor Valérie Plante also testified to their dismay at this news.
– With Raphaël Pirro, QMI Agency