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Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller says the searches on the grounds of former residential schools to date are just the beginning.
Nearly one year ago, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Nation announced ground-penetrating radar had found the possible remains of about 200 children on the site of a former residential school near Kamloops, B.C.
The 2015 report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission had found, through records and accounts shared by survivors, that thousands of children had died at these institutions, or gone missing.
Still, the discovery in Kamloops brought the devastation caused by the church-run, government-funded residential school system into focus for many non-Indigenous Canadians, and renewed calls for justice.
Miller said that since there are 140 former residential school sites in Canada, the searches to date are just the "tip of the iceberg."
"Most of us aren't really prepared for what that truth ultimately will reveal as a country."
He promised the federal government would keep offering financial supports.
Justice Minister David Lametti also said Monday that work is ongoing on the appointment of a special interlocutor to assist First Nations and the federal government to develop policy around searching residential school sites for unmarked graves.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2022.