More than a year after at least 200 unmarked graves were discovered at a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia, Indigenous leaders are calling for criminal charges to be brought against those responsible for the crimes that occurred there.
Given the quantity and seriousness of the abuses that took place, Indigenous Reconciliation Group CEO Rose LeMay told CTV’s Your Morning that she does not see any reason why there wouldn’t be a criminal prosecution.
LeMay asserted that some of the decision-makers who authorized financing for churches to operate residential schools may still be alive today and should face criminal charges.
Some Indigenous organizations claim that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the only institution that can handle this, although the ICC does not look into crimes that occurred before 2002, which is less than six years after Canada’s final residential school closed.
LeMay stated that the criminal matter may be the subject of a federal inquiry, but added that the RCMP would probably be involved. Given that the RCMP was one of the law enforcement agencies engaged in removing Indigenous children from their families and sending them to residential schools, she said this would be cause for worry.
Advocates still want to see some form of prosecution, she adds, even if there aren’t many alternatives left for criminal charges.