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.

June 30, 2021

Discoveries of unmarked graves at Residential Schools

St. Eugene Mission School

Ktunaxa Nation, community of Aq’am

Toronto Star – Chief Jason Louie of The Lower Kootenay Band announced that they had discovered “182 sets of human remains in unmarked graves…flagged near the location of a former residential school – St. Eugene Mission School – in Cranbrook, B.C…from the member bands of Ktunaxa nation, and neighbouring First Nation communities”. The former school, which was operated from 1912 to the 70s by the Roman Catholic Church is now St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino after the school was handed back to the five bands after the school closed.

The community of Aq’am conducted a search of the schoolgrounds using ground-penetrating radar in 2020 and they are still in the early stages of interpreting the reports from those searches. Aq’am released its own statement Wednesday acknowledging that it had conducted the search in 2020 in what is now the aq’am community cemetery — but stressed that it is difficult for them to determine whether this was a site where residential schoolchildren were buried.

“The community of ʔaq̓ am remains steadfast in its responsibility as caretakers of the ʔaq̓ am Cemetery and to those who eternally rest within. Further ground penetrating radar work will be done on the site.”

January 26, 2022

Discoveries of unmarked graves at Residential Schools

St. Josephs’ Mission Residential School

William Lake First Nation

Toronto Star – Chief Willie Sellars of the William Lake First Nation delivered preliminary results from the first phase of an investigation into St. Josephs’ Mission Residential School. 93 potential human burials have been found in an area near a historic cemetery at the school site. Current data suggest that 50 of the potential 93 burials are not associated with the cemetery.

The investigation so far has examined 14 of 470 hectares around the site of the former residential school. Sellars said during the course of its work the investigation team has heard stories of torture, rape, forcible confinement and exposure to extreme conditions, among other abuses. Sellars said religious officials, the federal government and RCMP misled the public about what was happening at residential schools. He said that during the school’s operations, overseen by numerous religious sects but mainly the Catholic Church, children had spoke up to authorities about the conditions at the school. No action was taken, the chief said.

The Williams Lake First Nation is currently examining archives but said some key documents are missing.