"Hundreds" of unmarked graves found near former Sask. residential school

24 Juin, 2021, 07:01 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
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Manitoba notes that First Nation, Metis, and Inuit children would have attended at least one of the 17 residential schools in the province, 14 of which are officially recognized by the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement.

A First Nation in southern Saskatchewan is to hold a virtual news conference Thursday morning about what it calls "the horrific and shocking discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves" at the site of a former residential school.

The nuns taught at the Kamloops residential school and provided nursing and child-care services from 1890 until 1970, according to Sisters of St. Ann president Sister Marie Zarowny. "It is of the utmost importance to us to contribute, in any way possible, to transparency and accessibility, and participate in activities that can lead to healing and reconciliation".

"A great deal of work has been done by First Nations and others to help identify remains and undocumented burial sites, but there is much more work that still needs to be done", Premier Jason Kenney said.

The Tk'emlups te Secwepemc could not immediately be reached for comment.

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The museum responded with a statement in support of the council, but said the order had its own locked and self-contained office space and managed the records independently of the museum.

MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee said in the news release that the last few weeks have been hard for residential school survivors and their descendants due to the discovery of these unmarked graves.

The announcement to be made by the Cowessess First Nation comes about a month after the discovery of the remains of 215 children on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, B.C.

The MOU is scheduled to take effect July 1.

"All archives from organizations that were involved with residential schools can play a role in the process of truth-finding and reconciliation", said Daniel Muzyka, the museum's board chair and acting CEO. "Expediting access to the SSA records to Indigenous communities is a positive step along this path".

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