Jul 17, 2021

By Jeremy Logan

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A group of Saskatchewan First Nations is beginning their search for unmarked graves at the grounds of the former Delmas/Thunderchild Indian Residential School.

The Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs announced in June the plan to search the grounds for potential unmarked graves in the area 160 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

The ground-penetrating radar search is to begin Saturday with a smudge ceremony, and mental health counsellors and elders will be on-site for support.

The Delmas/Thunderchild school was operated by the Roman Catholic Church from 1901 to 1948, when it burned down.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report found the school was overcrowded and many students became sick or died of typhoid, tuberculosis, jaundice, pneumonia and other illnesses.

An estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children attended residential schools between the 1860s and 1996.

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