Call to Action # 75: Actions and Commitments

SK


May 31, 2021


Call for the federal government to research undocumented deaths and burial in Indian residential schools

Saskatoon Star Phoenix – The Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations and the province issued a joint statement calling on the federal government “to immediately commence research on undocumented deaths and burials in residential schools in Saskatchewan, including radar ground search at residential school sites.” Initial sites identified to be investigated by radar ground search are:

  • Onion Lake
  • St. Anthony’s IRS
  • Beauval IRS
  • Guy Hill IRS
  • Lebret IRS
  • Sturgeon Landing IRS

With an estimated 20 federal residential schools operated in Saskatchewan, meaningful reconciliation in our province must include research into the estimated hundreds of children that did not return home after attending these institutions, including radar ground search,” Premier Scott Moe said.


December 15, 2021


Disbursements of fed. funds to find unmarked graves

Cowassess First Nation

$703,230 funding over three years for the community’s Gravesite Reclamation Project.

Survivors, intergenerational Survivors, knowledge keepers and leaders will continue the work that has already started on researching, commemorating, locating and identifying the gravesites of missing children. During the next three years, work will progress on research, archival and statement gathering, additional fieldwork, commemorative markers, electronic mapping of all marked and unmarked graves, and a monument.


June 22, 2021


Disbursements of fed. funds to find unmarked graves

Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations

Saskatchewan

Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations = $4.88M (16 Indian Residential Schools)

Research, knowledge gathering and the initial ceremonies related to the burial sites of children who never returned from residential schools to their Indigenous communities. The funding will also help communities gather the information necessary to guide appropriate ground penetrating radar work.


November 4, 2021


Lebret IRS

CBC – Star Blanket Cree Nation begins ground-penetrating radar searches at site of Lebret IRS that could take up to 3 years to complete. The school closed its doors in 1998 making it one of the last IRS. More than 55 acres on the reserve will need to be examined. Star Blanket has been able to secure agreements with some landowners as it prepares to search areas once operated by the residential school.


February 5, 2019


Muskowekwan Residential School

University of Alberta – A Métis archeologist at the University of Alberta working with the Muskowekwan First Nation in Saskatchewan may have discovered graves of missing children from the nearby residential school that closed in 1997. “In the records there were 35 children who were unaccounted for, that disappear off the records, and nobody quite knows what happened,” said Kisha Supernant.

The school operated from 1889 to 1997 and stands on the land of the Muskowekwan First Nation, which is trying to save the deteriorating building—one of the last standing residential school buildings in Western Canada—to turn it into a museum.

Confirmed Graves
35

August 14, 2018


Regina Indian Industrial School (RIIS)

A monument to commemorate and honour those who died while attending the Regina Indian Industrial School (RIIS) over 100 years ago was unveiled today. “This plaque is a permanent feature to commemorate the children who passed while attending the school, and acknowledges the impact residential schools had on Saskatchewan peoples and communities.”

Confirmed Graves
35

July 26, 2017


Regina Indian Industrial School (RIIS)


(RIIS) Cemetery has been designated a Provincial Heritage Property.  The cemetery grounds contain the graves of approximately 35 children from First Nations and Métis communities in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba who died while attending the school.