The Aboriginal community in Canada announced Tuesday that unidentified graves have been found again in former boarding schools. It concerns a total of 54 unidentified graves in two different locations. Last year, the discovery of hundreds of graves in former boarding schools sent shockwaves through the country.
A total of 42 graves were found near the former boarding school at Fort Bailey. The remaining 12 were found near Saint Philip, head of research Ted Quizance said when announcing the discovery.
“Canadians can’t believe a human being could have treated other people, especially children, the way we’ve been treated,” he said at a news conference in Saskatchewan.
The boarding schools in question, run by the Catholic Church, were open from 1928 to 1969 and from 1905 to 1913, respectively.
Finding out that there are unidentified cemeteries we walk through every day was an “ordeal,” community leader Lee Kichimunia told me. Kitchemonia would like to conduct an archival search so that it will be possible to find out who is buried there.
Between the late 19th century and the 1990s, about 150,000 Aboriginal children were forcibly enrolled in 139 boarding schools across the country, where they were cut off from their families, language, and culture. A 2015 national commission of inquiry called the regime a “cultural genocide.”
Since an Aboriginal community in Kamloops, western British Columbia, discovered hundreds of graves on the site of a former boarding school last May, other Aboriginal communities across Canada have embarked on similar tasks.
More than 1,300 children’s graves have been found so far, and authorities estimate that between 4,000 and 6,000 students are missing.
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