Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Shoes, stuffed animals, flowers and signs are left against the Centennial Flame at a memorial for the 215 children whose remains were found at the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School at Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation in Kamloops, B.C., on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, June 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Ms. Weber says the focus is to determine with Indigenous communities, such as the Tk’emlups 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 the 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.

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. 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.”

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies