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Wed Jun 23, 2021, 02:55 PM

The news from Kamloops shook this country. Will it change anything?

"Canadians are waking up," Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde told Rosemary Barton Live this weekend. "Governments are waking up."

That awakening is overdue. By no means should it have taken the reported discovery of the remains of 215 children on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia to make people face up to the injustices of the past and the need for reconciliation in the present.

But Kamloops appears to have left a particularly deep impression on Canadians more so than many other recent events. The question is how that affects the political debate going forward.

Awareness of what happened in Kamloops is widespread. Seventy-seven per cent of respondents to a recent poll by Innovative Research Group said they were "very familiar" or "somewhat familiar" with the reports of human remains. That level of impact vastly exceeds what Innovative Research found in years past when it asked about other major tragedies.



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