10 episodes

An 8-part series that tells the stories of four students: three who survived and one who didn’t. They attended one of Canada’s most notorious residential schools – where unsolved deaths, abuse, and lies haunt the community and the survivors to this day. Hosted by Duncan McCue.

For the best in true crime from CBC, ad-free, visit apple.co/cbctruecrime.

Kuper Island CBC True Crime

    • True Crime
    • 4.7 • 954 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

An 8-part series that tells the stories of four students: three who survived and one who didn’t. They attended one of Canada’s most notorious residential schools – where unsolved deaths, abuse, and lies haunt the community and the survivors to this day. Hosted by Duncan McCue.

For the best in true crime from CBC, ad-free, visit apple.co/cbctruecrime.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Introducing: Kuper Island

    Introducing: Kuper Island

    Long after the Kuper Island Residential School was torn down, the survivors are still haunted by what happened there. Investigative reporter Duncan McCue exposes buried police investigations, confronts perpetrators of abuse and witnesses a community trying to rebuild — literally on top of the old school’s ruins and the unmarked graves of Indigenous children. Episodes release Tuesdays, starting May 17.

    • 2 min
    E1: A School They Called Alcatraz

    E1: A School They Called Alcatraz

    Duncan McCue travels to Penelakut, an island off the coast of B.C., and the site of the Kuper Island Residential School. The community has torn down the reviled building, but the dark memories of what happened at the nearly-century old institution linger. Survivors James and Tony Charlie give a tour of their old school grounds, and we look into the mystery of what happened to one boy, Richard Thomas, who did not make it out alive.

    For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/kuper-island-transcripts-listen-1.6622551

    • 31 min
    E2: Nights on the Boys’ Side

    E2: Nights on the Boys’ Side

    What was it like to be a student at one of the most notorious residential schools in Canada? Survivors James and Tony Charlie share their own account of recurring sexual abuse at the hands of their teachers, starting with a fateful trip to Montreal's Expo '67. Their stories speak to how abuse rotted all facets of school life — and how at Kuper Island, no child was spared.

    To find transcriptions for episodes of Kuper Island, please click here: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/kuper-island-transcripts-listen-1.6622551

    • 39 min
    E3: Sink or Swim

    E3: Sink or Swim

    Survivor Belvie Brebber tells us about her five years at Kuper Island Residential School, a time filled with fear, cruelty and sexual violence. Belvie makes it out alive, but her younger brother Richard Thomas does not. She describes a terrible phone call that shattered her family forever, and why she never believed the school's story that her beloved brother died by suicide.

    For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/kuper-island-transcripts-listen-1.6622551

    • 35 min
    E4: What happened to Richard?

    E4: What happened to Richard?

    Richard Thomas was smart, kind and well-loved. He was having no problems in school and he wanted to go further in education. Then inexplicably, days before his graduation, he’s found dead in the Kuper Island school gym. His death was ruled a suicide — with no further questions as to why. We piece together a portrait of the teenager through his own writings, and find an old coroner’s report that raises more questions than answers about how Thomas died.

    For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/kuper-island-transcripts-listen-1.6622551

    • 44 min
    E5: Feeding the Dead

    E5: Feeding the Dead

    An archaeologist uses the stories of survivors and a ground-penetrating radar machine to pinpoint where children who died at the Kuper Island school were buried, sometimes in places where no one ever wanted them to be found. And we explore how the Hul'qumi'num people honour their ancestral dead, and why this work is important when it comes to unsettled spirits and unmarked graves.

    For transcripts of this series, please visit: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/podcastnews/kuper-island-transcripts-listen-1.6622551

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
954 Ratings

954 Ratings

Mimsterz00 ,

Necessary listening

And necessary learning. We cannot live and love with responsibility in this world without knowledge like this. Hope for humanity lives with fortitude after hearing these First Nation people forging ahead. I salute this work.

Beefsky ,

Appreciate the story but concerned about the capacity of the host to hold these dark truths

I really appreciated this podcast for these truths about what’s happened in Canada to children in residential schools need to be spoken out loud, heard and held by all. I was a bit disappointed in the hosts response as the people shared their traumatic experiences ... the way he gasped and responded to his speakers. Made me wonder if the host had the capacity to really hold what happened. Gasping is all it takes sometimes to quiet people who have been traumatized as they can feel shame and be confused about do I have to take care of my listener now? Additionally, when one speaker says he hopes the abusers will be prosecuted the host responds and appears to to be questioning the speaker by pointing out the abusers are old… as if age should make a difference in accountability. The podcast host needs to learn more about being a witness to trauma before taking on such a project.

NayQC ,

Tragic yet beautiful

It’s hard to give a 5 star review to stories so horrific and unimaginable. Wonderful story telling, educational & eye opening to the ugly side of humans & greed. But a story of triumph, a story about a people so strong, years of suffering could not break them.

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