DISCOVERY OF POSSIBLE GRAVES OF CHILDREN AT SITE OF FORMER RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL A FIRST FOR ONTARIO

Jan 18, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Northern Ontario is the latest region in Canada to report possible unmarked graves of children at the site of a former residential school.

The Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation says 171 plausible burial sites have been discovered at the site of a former residential school near Kenora.

St. Mary’s Residential School operated from 1897 to 1972.

Chief Chris Skead says most of the spots are unmarked, with the exception of five that have head stones.

“The studies conducted by the Nation’s Technical, Archaeology, and GPR (ground penetrating radar) Team and informed by survivor testimony are showing at least 171 anomalies within cemetery grounds associated with the former St. Mary’s Indian Residential School,” Chief Skead explained.

In response, Ontario’s Indigenous Minister Greg Rickford has expressed his condolences on behalf of the provincial government and has pledged support for the next phase of the investigation.

Members of First Nations are said to be meeting with federal and provincial ministers to discuss next steps including the resources needed to continue investigating.

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