Shomporko Online News Desk: Human remains have been discovered in unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school in British Columbia.
Ground-penetrating radar discovered 182 human remains in unmarked graves at the site of the old St. Eugene’s Mission Residential School in Cranbrook, B.C., according to the Lower Kootenay Band.
Some of the bones were buried in shallow graves about three to four feet deep, according to the band, and they are believed to be from Ktunaxa Nation member bands, neighboring First Nations communities, and the community.
All children living in the area between the ages of seven and 15 were mandated by law to attend the school where the band said many “received cruel and sometimes fatal treatment.” It estimates that about 100 Lower Kootenay Band members attended St. Eugene’s Mission Residential School.
According to the Ktunaxa Nation, the residential school operated for 60 years between 1910 and 1970 but a school first opened on the site in 1890. Thousands of children attended the school.
The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre say there were recurring outbreaks of influenza, mumps, measles, chickenpox, and tuberculosis at the school.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission reports the Canadian government was responsible for funding the school, which was managed and operated by the Catholic Church from 1890 to 1970.
It was managed by the Sisters of Charity of the House of Providence of Montreal from 1890 to 1929, then the Oblates of Mary Immaculate from 1929 to 1970, and was operated by the Department of Indian Affairs for its final year of operation.
In 2000 the site reopened as the St. Eugene Resort, within the Ktunaxa Community of ʔaq̓am, near Cranbrook, B.C.
In the year 2020, a search of the grounds surrounding and near the defunct school was conducted.
The discovery comes after the estimated remains of 215 people were discovered at a former residential school in Kamloops and 751 unmarked graves were discovered at the Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan.
Source_ The Star