Wednesday, May 25

Possible new mass grave found at boarding school in Canada

The Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) indigenous community said Tuesday that a geophysical survey has uncovered what may be 93 graves at the former St. Joseph’s Mission Boarding School.

– A lot of work remains on site, and we all have intentions to continue this work, says WLFN’s leader Willie Sellars.

At the beginning of January, the government set aside NOK 13.5 million to finance the surveys. The news of the possible graves brings great suffering to the surface, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

– My heart is broken for this local community and for the relatives whose loved ones never came home again, he said.

The area is located about 300 kilometers north of Kamloops, where the remains of 215 children were found in May last year.

Since then, more than 1,000 anonymous graves have been found near former boarding schools run by religious groups. The findings have shed light on a dark chapter in Canadian history and the country’s previous policy of forced assimilation of indigenous peoples.

A total of 150,000 children from the country’s indigenous population were students at 139 such schools from the end of the 19th century until the 1990s, isolated from families, language and culture. A total of 4,000-6,000 children are believed to be missing, according to the authorities.

A Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded in 2015 that the failed policy was “cultural genocide”.


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