Missing Children and Burial Information (71-76): Current Problems


July 22, 2021

Appeal to International Criminal Court

Appeal to International Criminal Court

Nunantsiaq News: Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq and her fellow NDP MP Charlie Angus held a press conference on Parliament Hill Thursday to ask federal Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti to reach out to the International Criminal Court to launch an investigation into a system they said “represents a crime against humanity.” “We need a full and independent investigation that has the power to shine a light on every facet of this national crime, and has the power to bring perpetrators to justice,” Qaqqaq said.
Qaqqaq said an investigation should extend beyond just residential schools to examine any institution that Indigenous people were forced to attend, providing the example of southern sanatoriums Inuit were sent to between the 1940s and 1960s to recover from tuberculosis. “There are possibly hundreds, if not thousands, of Inuit [buried] outside of sanatoriums across the country,” she said.

March 1, 2022

Discoveries of unmarked graves at Residential Schools

St. Bernard’s IRS (Grouard Mission)

Globe and Mail – The Kapawe’no First Nation in northern Alberta announced on Tuesday the discovery of 169 potential unmarked graves on the former grounds of the St. Bernard’s Indian Residential School (1894-1961), another in a growing number of school burial sites.

Kapawe’no First Nation, located near High Prairie, about 350 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, worked with the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology at the University of Alberta and used ground-penetrating radar and a specialized drone to help identify anomalies that have traits associated with graves. The search area was determined after reviewing the testimonies of residential-school survivors.

Kapawe’no First Nation searched one acre of land around the St. Bernard’s school over six days. In the first of three phases in the search, they identified 169 potential graves. Of those, 115 were found inside the existing community cemetery, some with no grave markers, while 54 potential graves were located in other areas around the school property.

Kisha Supernant, director of the Institute of Prairie and Indigenous Archaeology, says that they do not need ground-penetrating radar results to prove that students did not come home from this school – or that survivors are telling the truth. Extensive archival records contain clear information about children dying in residence there.

“Survivor’s oral history is always backed up by the science,” Dr. Supernant said.

Parish records indicate that children who were believed to have died at the school were buried at the community cemetery, but those potential graves are not specifically marked, and no plot maps have been located.