New discovery of anonymous graves near former residential school in Canada

This is the third such find in a month: Excavations have unearthed 182 anonymous graves near the former St. Eugene Residential School in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, announced on Wednesday (June 30th). Lower Kootenay Aboriginal community in a news release.

Last week in Marieval, Saskatchewan, 751 graves were detected; at the end of May, the remains of 215 school children were discovered in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The community of Lower Kootenay says they conducted the research in 2020 and located the graves using ground penetrating radar, near this former boarding school managed between 1912 and the 1970s by the Catholic Church, on behalf of the Canadian state. Former St. Eugene Residential School “Was managed by the religious congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, which was also responsible for the boarding school in Kamloops and Marieval”, precise Radio Canada.

A “cultural genocide” on the part of Canada

“Some of the remains were buried in graves about 3 to 4 feet deep”, 90 to 120 centimeters, said the Aboriginal community Lower Kootenay, of the Kootenai First Nation (Ktunaxa). “All Indigenous children between the ages of 7 and 15 were required by law to attend Indigenous residential schools, where many received cruel and sometimes fatal treatment.”, details the press release.

This new discovery revives the trauma experienced by some 150,000 Amerindian, Métis and Inuit children, cut off from their families, their language and their culture, and forcibly enlisted until the 1990s in 139 of these residential schools across the country. .

Many of them were subjected to ill-treatment or sexual abuse, and more than 4,000 died there, according to a commission of inquiry which had found a “Cultural genocide” from Canada.

Read also In Canada, new fires of Catholic churches on Indigenous lands

The World with AFP

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