Read Time:1 Minute, 45 Second

(March 1, 2022) – Searchers have discovered up to 169 possible graves at the former Grouard Mission residential school site, about 370 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Searchers focused on a small parcel of land, called St. Bernard’s Indian Residential School. Fifty-four potential graves were located near the church. Another 115 were identified in the community cemetery.

“Our little warriors have waited for us to find them.” said Sydney Halcrow of the Kapawe’no First Nation, adding that the discovery validates what survivors have been sharing for many years.

The discoveries were made using ground-penetrating radar and a drone. According to searchers, the local parish provided burial records, which indicated that the children who died while living at the school were buried in unmarked graves. Some names were provided by the church. They were included in a missing children registry created by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

In their testimony to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), survivors spoke about sexual and physical abuse, manual labour and illness at the school. The residential school was opened by the Roman Catholic Church in 1894 and ran until 1961. At the time it was closed, inspectors said it was developing into an orphanage.

Indigenous leaders across the country have expressed outrage and sadness about the recent discoveries.

“We join with families and Indigenous communities across Canada in calling on the government to use the resources necessary to uncover the identity of the children, the causes and reasons for their deaths. We must act as one in order to protect our women, our girls our children, and our families.” said Marjolaine Etienne, President of the Quebec Native Women’s organization.

Treaty 8 Grand Chief Arthur Noskey said “It’s as if this wound cannot heal. It’s reopened over and over.”

He added, “It’s important for the world to see that these institutions were not schools.”

It’s estimated that approximately 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children attended residential schools. The TRC documented at least 4,100 deaths. Searchers continue to comb potential gravesites near many former residential schools, using both radar and drones.

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

Next post Indigenous Leaders Stand With Ukraine