182 unmarked graves found at third former residential school - Indian Country Today

  

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Via:  kavika  •  one month ago  •  22 comments

By:   Indian Country Today

182 unmarked graves found at third former residential school - Indian Country Today
Graves are located near the site of a former residential school located on Ktunaxa Nation territory in British Columbia

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



UPDATED: Graves are located near the site of a former residential school located on Ktunaxa Nation territory in British Columbia Author: APTN National News

St. Eugene's Residential School is also known as the Kootenay or Little Red Brick School. (Photo by Indian Residential School History & Dialogue Centre via APTN National News)

UPDATED: Graves are located near the site of a former residential school located on Ktunaxa Nation territory in British Columbia

WARNING: This story has disturbing details about residential and boarding schools. If you are feeling triggered, here is a resource list for trauma responses from the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition in the US. The National Indian Residential School Crisis Hotline in Canada can be reached at 1-866-925-4419. If you're in Treaty 4 territory, call 306-522-7494.

Kathleen Martens
APTN National News

Another First Nation is reporting the discovery of unmarked graves near the site of a former residential school, St. Eugene's Mission School.

It follows two other reports of similar massive findings at two other such church-run schools, one of more than 600 unmarked graves at the former Marieval Indian Residential School and another of 215 bodies at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

The community of aq'am, also known as St. Mary's band, situated within the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation near Cranbrook, British Columbia, located 182 unmarked graves in 2020 using ground penetrating radar. It is close to the former St. Eugene's Mission School, which was operated by the Catholic Church from 1912 until the early 1970s.

But it only recently notified the nearby Lower Kootenay First Nation about the find.

"In the ground search conducted by the community of aq'am, the findings revealed 182 human remains in unmarked graves," said a news release from Lower Kootenay shared with APTN News Wednesday. Some unmarked graves were about 3 feet deep, it said.

"It is believed that the remains of these 182 souls are from the member Bands of the Ktunaxa nation, neighbouring First Nations communities, & the community of aqam."

Chief Jason Louie of the Lower Kootenay Band, which is also a member of the Ktunaxa Nation, called the discovery "deeply personal" since he had relatives attend the school.

"Let's call this for what it is," Louie told CBC radio in an interview. "It's a mass murder of Indigenous people."

"The Nazis were held accountable for their war crimes. I see no difference in locating the priests and nuns and the brothers who are responsible for this mass murder to be held accountable for their part in this attempt of genocide of an Indigenous people."

(Related: 751 unmarked graves is 'a wake up call')

From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society. Thousands of children died there of disease and other causes, with many never returned to their families.

Nearly three-quarters of the 130 residential schools were run by Roman Catholic missionary congregations, with others operated by the Presbyterian, Anglican and the United Church of Canada, which today is the largest Protestant denomination in the country.

The Canadian government has acknowledged that physical and sexual abuse was rampant in the schools, with students beaten for speaking their native languages.

On Tuesday, it was announced that a group of Indigenous leaders will visit the Vatican later this year to press for a papal apology for the Roman Catholic Church's role in residential schools.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said Indigenous leaders will visit the Vatican between Dec. 17 and 20 to meet with Pope Francis and "foster meaningful encounters of dialogue and healing."

Living survivors


Lower Kootenay said it still has living survivors of approximately 100 band citizens forced to attend St. Eugene's Mission School as part of the federal government's residential school system.

It said the institution was run by the Roman Catholic Church from 1912 until the early 1970s.

"The residential school system was mandated by the government of Canada," Lower Kootenay added in the release.

"All Indigenous children ages 7-15 were required by law to attend residential school where many Indigenous children received cruel & sometimes fatal treatment."

More details about St. Eugene's or Kootenay residential school are located on the website of the Indian Residential School History & Dialogue Centre. It said the building opened in 1890 just north of Cranbrook, before being replaced with an industrial school in 1912.


RELATED:
— US boarding schools to be investigated
— 'We won't forget about the children'
— 215 bodies found at residential school in Canada
— Survivor talks about loss and fear at residential school


Influenza


It said there were recurring outbreaks of influenza, mumps, measles, chicken pox, and tuberculosis. In 1969, the federal government took over the operation of the residence and closed it the following year.

The building was converted into an upscale resort, along with a hotel and golf course, by the St. Mary's band after a referendum was held in favour of restoration. There is also an RV park and interpretive centre that explains the sad history of the former school.

According to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, an estimated 5,000 children passed through its hallways from the communities of St. Mary's, Lower Kootenay, Tobacco Plains, Lower Similkameen, Similkameen, Okanagan, Inkamoop / Inkammoep / Inkameep, Termission, Creston, Vernon, Enderby, Comox, Little Shuswap, Upper Nicola, Spallumchene / Spallumcheon / Sallumchene, North Thompson, Lake Similk, Neskainlith, Tsartlip, Osoyoos, Penticton, Columbia Lake, Shuswap, Tsartlip, Westbank, Athelmer, Cranbrook, Kamloops, Cardston and Seabird Island.

This is the third First Nation - and the second in B.C. - to report a similar find using ground penetrating radar in the past month.

The first was May 27 by the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc Nation, which announced 215 graves at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. The second was Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan that said on June 23 it had located 715 unmarked graves.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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Kavika
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Kavika     one month ago

Sadly many more Indigenous children graves have been found. Of course, the Catholic Church was running this so-called school. 

I read another article where the Pope will meet with Canadian Indigenous leader in DECEMBER but has not issued an apology. 

Seems the Church still tries to hide its horrific history with indigenous people.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Principal
1.1  Hallux  replied to  Kavika @1    one month ago
indigenous people

Mai sentito parlare di loro, chi sono?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Hallux @1.1    one month ago

I'm sure that he doesn't want to know who they are. Typical of the Church.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
Professor Principal
1.2  Raven Wing  replied to  Kavika @1    one month ago

Seems the Church still tries to hide its horrific history with indigenous people.

The church and the Pope may deny any guilt in the deaths of those poor souls, but, the Creator will hold not allow them to escape responsibility. And His punishment will be worse than any Man's court of law.

 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Raven Wing @1.2    one month ago

I'd like to be around when he meets his maker.

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
1.3  shona1  replied to  Kavika @1    one month ago

Morning....another very sad day for Canada's indigenous people.🥀🥀🥀.

Would not expect anything from the bloody Catholic church after seeing what went on here with George Pell..and where is this maggot now??... tucked away safely in the Vatican...and that speaks volumes....

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.3.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @1.3    one month ago
tucked away safely in the Vatican...and that speaks volumes....

Yes, it does and he is back in good graces with the Vatican and has had meeting with the Pope.

 
 
 
shona1
Sophomore Participates
1.3.2  shona1  replied to  Kavika @1.3.1    one month ago

Yes saw that...enough to make your skin crawl...

Hope your son and family are safe in NSW...had out breaks of the Delta virus in nearly at States and Territories.. but it is the nature of the beast..

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
1.3.3  seeder  Kavika   replied to  shona1 @1.3.2    one month ago

They are doing fine, thank shona. I've been reading and hearing from them about the lockdown in Sydney.

 
 
 
Steve Ott
Professor Quiet
2  Steve Ott    one month ago

Seems like every day we are getting a new story about this type of thing. Sad and infuriating.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Steve Ott @2    one month ago

As they keep searching we are going to hear of a lot more, Steve.

 
 
 
Freefaller
PhD Participates
2.1.1  Freefaller  replied to  Kavika @2.1    one month ago

Very true Kavika, unofficial estimates put the total number at between 4000 - 5000

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.2  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Freefaller @2.1.1    one month ago

Is that number in addition to the confirmed deaths that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission listed, Freefaller.

 
 
 
Freefaller
PhD Participates
2.1.3  Freefaller  replied to  Kavika @2.1.2    one month ago

Kav I wish I could help but unfortunately it's just a number I read in an article last week

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.4  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Freefaller @2.1.3    one month ago

Ok, thanks Freefaller.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3  Buzz of the Orient    one month ago

Another discovery and exposure of what happened in Canada.  Deb Haaland had something to say about Canada's complicity.  Now let's see what America has to show us, or will it try hide the information like Confederate statues.  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3    one month ago

Haaland will do everything she can to expose the truth, and I believe so will this administration, but there will be those that will fight any findings.

Deb Haaland grandfather was forced into one of the ''schools''.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
4  pat wilson    one month ago

150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian boarding schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society.

So instead of erasing their culture they actually erased the children themselves. It's horrific.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  pat wilson @4    one month ago

Sadly, that is true and in the US the numbers are much larger and the treatment was the same as in Canada.

 
 
 
Veronica
Junior Guide
5  Veronica    one month ago

Awful, just horrible.  There is nothing I can say that will make things better, BUT I appreciate the articles so we can be informed & learn from the horrors of the past.

I'm sorry, Kav.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  Kavika   replied to  Veronica @5    one month ago

Sadly Veronica, this is only the beginning there will be more and once they start and investigation in the US it's going to get a lot worse.

 
 
 
Veronica
Junior Guide
5.1.1  Veronica  replied to  Kavika @5.1    one month ago

This saddens me to no end.  I just have no words for the horror.

 
 
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