Cowessess First Nation says 751 unmarked graves found near former Sask. residential school

B00Mer

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The remains of 751 people, mainly Indigenous children, were discovered at the site of a former school in the province of Saskatchewan, a Canadian Indigenous group said on Thursday, jolting a nation grappling with generations of widespread and systematic abuse of Indigenous people.
The discovery, the largest one to date, came weeks after the remains of 215 children were found in unmarked graves on the grounds of another former boarding school in British Columbia.
Both schools were part of a system that took Indigenous children in the country from their families over a period of about 113 years, sometimes by force, and housed them in boarding schools, where they were prohibited from speaking their languages.
A national Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established in 2008 to investigate, expose and document the history and consequences of the residential schools, called the practice “cultural genocide.” Many children never returned home, and their families were given only vague explanations of their fates, or none at all. Canada had about 150 residential schools and an estimated 150,000 Indigenous children passed through the schools between their opening, around 1883, and their closing in 1996.
It is unclear how the children died at the church-run schools, which were buffeted by disease outbreaks a century ago, and where children faced sexual, physical and emotional abuse and violence. Some former students of the schools have described the bodies of infants born to girls impregnated by priests and monks being incinerated.
The commission estimated that about 4,100 children went missing nationwide from the schools. But an Indigenous former judge who led the commission, Murray Sinclair, said in an email this month that he now believed the number was “well beyond 10,000.”
The discovery in Saskatchewan was made by the Cowessess First Nation at the Marieval Indian Residential School, about 87 miles from the provincial capital, Regina.
“There was always talk and speculation and stories, but to see this number — it’s a pretty significant number,” said Bobby Cameron, the chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, the provincial federation of Indigenous groups. “It’s going to be difficult and painful and heartbreaking.” He added: “This is what the Catholic Church in Canada and the government of Canada of the day forced on our children.”
For Canada’s 1.7 million Indigenous citizens, who make up about 4.9 percent of the population, the discovery is a visceral reminder of centuries of discrimination and abuse, which has led to intergenerational trauma among survivors of residential schools and their families.
It is also a powerful vindication of their testimonies. While the recent findings have intensified attention to the issue, Indigenous people had been suggesting for decades through their oral histories that thousands of children had disappeared from the schools, but had often been met with skepticism. “There’s no denying this: All of the stories told by our survivors are true,” Chief Cameron said.
The latest findings are likely to deepen the nation’s debate over its history of exploiting Indigenous people and refocus attention on the horrors of the schools, a stain in the history of Canada, a country which has often been perceived, fairly or not, as a bastion of progressivism and multiculturalism.
In September 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the nation’s past “humiliation, neglect and abuse” of Indigenous people, and vowed in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly to improve the lives of the country’s Indigenous people. The latest discoveries will add pressure for him to accelerate those efforts, which many Indigenous people complain have fallen short.
When Mr. Trudeau took office in 2015, he made the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 recommendations a top priority. But progress has been slow, in part because some of them are beyond the federal government’s control. The Indian Act, a collection of laws dating back to the 19th century that govern the lives of Indigenous people, also remains in place despite Mr. Trudeau’s promises to move it into a new system under their control. Chief Cameron and several other Indigenous leaders say that they hope the discovery of the children’s remains will accelerate the process.
The remains of the 215 children were discovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia through the use of ground-penetrating radar. Much like an M.R.I. scan of the body, the technology produces images of anomalies in the soil.
An official at the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said the latest analysis, which relied on the same technology, began about three weeks ago, not long after the announcement of preliminary findings about the Kamloops school by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation.
The search at the Kamloops school is continuing, and the First Nation leaders said that they expected the count to rise further.
When the commission tried to look into the question of missing Indigenous children, the Conservative government at the time turned down its request for money to finance searches. Since the Kamloops discovery at the end of May, several Canadian governments have offered to pay for searches.
On Tuesday, the federal government announced that it would provide just under 4.9 million Canadian dollars (about $3.9 million) to Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan to search for graves. The provincial government previously committed 2 million Canadian dollars ($1.6 million).
In a statement, Scott Moe, the premier of Saskatchewan, predicted that the remains of more children would be found elsewhere. “Sadly, other Saskatchewan First Nations will experience the same shock and despair as the search for graves continues,” he wrote.
Like Kamloops, the Marieval school, which opened in 1899, was operated for most of its history by the Roman Catholic Church for the government of Canada. A marked cemetery still exists on the grounds of the school, which closed in 1997 and was subsequently demolished. The commission, relying on testimony from former students and archival materials, listed the Marieval school as a likely site for unmarked graves.
The commission called for a papal apology for the role of the church, which operated about 70 percent of the schools. (The rest were run by Protestant denominations.) But despite a personal appeal from Mr. Trudeau to the Vatican, Pope Francis has still not taken that step. By contrast, the leadership of the United Church of Canada, the country’s largest Protestant denomination, apologized in 1986 for its role in running the schools.
Former students of the Saskatchewan residential schools were particularly active in litigation against the government, resulting in financial settlements and the establishment of the commission, which heard testimony from more than 6,700 witnesses over six years.
Since the Kamloops announcement, Chief Cameron said, he has been traveling around the province, where farming and mining are major industries, looking at former school sites.
“You can see with your plain eye the indent of the ground where these bodies are to be found,” he said of some locations. “These children are sitting there, waiting to be found.”


 
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B00Mer

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The Canadian Government and the Catholic Church are unequivocally responsible for the genocide of our Indigenous peoples, cultures and communities.

But the POPE doesn't have the balls of a man to at least apologize for his diddling Priests. May he rot in Hell.

Honestly, the Catholic Church - and all religious institutions - should lose all of their preferential statuses. Tax exemptions, separate school systems, all of it. They are archaic as it is, but their role in shaping culture and society was the primary driver of why these institutions existed in the first place. And their operation of them led to thousands of deaths.
 
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Twin_Moose

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Health at Residential Schools

After visiting 35 residential schools, Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce, chief medical officer for Canada’s Department of the Interior and Indian Affairs (1904–21), reveals that Indigenous children are dying at alarming rates – with the mortality rate of enrolled students as high as 25 per cent. This number climbs to 69 per cent after students leave school.

Residential Schools After 1880

Beginning in the 1870s, both the federal government and Plains Nations wanted to include schooling provisions in treaties, though for different reasons. Indigenous leaders hoped Euro-Canadian schooling would help their young to learn the skills of the newcomer society and help them make a successful transition to a world dominated by the strangers. With the passage of the British North America Act in 1867, and the implementation of the Indian Act (1876), the government was required to provide Indigenous youth with an education and to assimilate them into Canadian society.

Key Facts About Residential Schools


What were residential schools?Residential schools were government-sponsored schools run by churches.
What was the purpose of residential schools?The purpose of residential schools was to educate and convert Indigenous youth and to assimilate them into Canadian society.
How many students attended residential schools?An estimated 150,000 children attended residential schools.
How many children died at residential schools?An estimated 6,000 children died at residential schools (records are incomplete).
How many residential schools were there in Canada?In total, over 130 residential schools operated in Canada between 1831 and 1996.
In 1931, there were 80 residential schools operating in Canada. This was the most at any one time.
When did the first residential school in Canada open?The Mohawk Institute in Brantford, Ontario, accepted its first boarding students in 1831.
When did the last residential school in Canada close?The Gordon Residential School in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, closed in 1996. It was the last federally-funded residential school in Canada.
 

Mowich

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The Canadian Government and the Catholic Church are unequivocally responsible for the genocide of our Indigenous peoples, cultures and communities.

But the POPE doesn't have the balls of a man to at least apologize for his diddling Priests. May he rot in Hell.

Honestly, the Catholic Church - and all religious institutions - should lose all of their preferential statuses. Tax exemptions, separate school systems, all of it. They are archaic as it is, but their role in shaping culture and society was the primary driver of why these institutions existed in the first place. And their operation of them led to thousands of deaths.
"The Canadian Government and the Catholic Church are unequivocally responsible for the genocide of our Indigenous peoples, cultures and communities."

Genocide, Boomer? They don't have a clue yet how those children died - not a clue. So you can take your genocide claim and put it where the sun don't shine, dear.

The location of these graveyards has been known for decades. This wasn't a New Discovery. Anyone who wanted to know where there children were buried has years to do so.

When the final tally is in, I will not be the least bit surprised to hear that the vast majority of the children died from one of the many diseases prevalent at the time - as did thousands of other Canadian children.

I am fed up with all the hyperbole around these events. The media is so over-the-top with their coverage of this story that many people are just turning away.


And I will proudly be celebrating Canada Day.
 

B00Mer

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"The Canadian Government and the Catholic Church are unequivocally responsible for the genocide of our Indigenous peoples, cultures and communities."

Genocide, Boomer? They don't have a clue yet how those children died - not a clue. So you can take your genocide claim and put it where the sun don't shine, dear.

The location of these graveyards has been known for decades. This wasn't a New Discovery. Anyone who wanted to know where there children were buried has years to do so.

When the final tally is in, I will not be the least bit surprised to hear that the vast majority of the children died from one of the many diseases prevalent at the time - as did thousands of other Canadian children.

I am fed up with all the hyperbole around these events. The media is so over-the-top with their coverage of this story that many people are just turning away.


And I will proudly be celebrating Canada Day.

Sucks to be you 😂😂

I haven’t watched Canadian TV in years

Sling TV man

86E15681-A9F8-4841-9235-39A5709E4F8E.jpeg

I mean get a VPN and $50 USD per month.

OH, Canada and the Church are responsible for the deaths of those children, but that was years ago

Canada still is the best country in the World and Happy Canada Day to you too
 

B00Mer

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They weren’t found or discovered, it is and was always known right where they are . Surprise surprise another one makes the news . At the end of the day the chiefs will still be chiefs and the Indians still Indians .

Yup and those poor children still dead at the hands of a church and government that ripped them out of their communities. ;)
 

Ron in Regina

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I worked all day so I'm late & try'n to play catch up. Skimmed a few news stories & that's about it. Not trying to belittle anything but the more I read the more questions I have. This is all so politicized on top of things also. Anyway, this is where I'm at.

I read a bit about this yesterday when it was obvious that they had the same facts then but not a big enough of an audience and hadn't built up enough suspense that they where going to make the big announcement & press conference this morning (They being Bobby Cameron et all) at 9am when I would be back at work. Through the day when I'd get out for a quick smoke & a sanity break I'd skim the headlines, I'd see dramatic changing headlines.

From "751 children in unmarked mass grave" to "751 individual unmarked graves (individual now) of residential school children found" and so on, and that's a shitty thing. Then it's not all the graves are children, then not all the graves are Aboriginals, then the cemetery predates the church & school on that site, then 751 graves are potential ground disturbances with an error of probability of 10-15%, then the graves where marked until the Chief & a Priest had a dispute in the 70's & the Priest removed the grave markers, then a Chief & a Priest had an argument & the Priest cleared all the grave markers with a bulldozer (Bulldozers aren't spur of the moment & that takes some planning). Then some Archdioceses says the priest (whomever that was) wasn't affiliated with the Catholic Church...

The 1850's to through the 1950's where some ugly times with WW1 & WW2 & TB & Small Pox & Polio & the Spanish Flu (the last big pandemic to hit North America) and tight financial times with the Dirty 30's and lack of antibiotics and I'm sure overcrowding and crap diets in general, and at these residential schools in particular.

So who was the Chief & the Priest (in the 70's or maybe the 60's) and what was their beef? I'm assuming it tied back to dollars 'cuz most things do, but what was it? If someone (whomever this Priest was if that's what really happened) removes hundreds (presumably) of grave markers either by hand or with a bulldozer...that takes some intensive labor & planning & isn't spur of the moment so what was the motivation? Who funded the removal of the grave makers (Crosses or stones or whatever the case may have been)? It's so much easier to have done nothing so what happened here? If this dude wasn't affiliated with the Catholic Church, then who was he (assuming it's a he due to the era) affiliated with? Apparently the Catholic church paid Cowessess First nation $70,000.00 & handed over all their records to find & mark these graves in 2019, so how did this take two years and a week to the day before Canada Day in an election year (Trudeau will call one this summer or fall at the latest I'm fairly sure) for this announcement to hit the news?

Isn't the timing kind'a weird all by itself? I mean, it could be a coincidence....or several of them...I guess? have to listen to the news in the days to come with respect to Canada Day (one week to the day away), & who comes out with what demands & announcements (Justin Trudeau, Bobby Cameron, Jagmeet Singh, Cadmus Delorme, etc...) in the short term.
 

pgs

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Yup and those poor children still dead at the hands of a church and government that ripped them out of their communities. ;)
No they died as did many in those days , it is a well known historical fact that many were buried , what was the alternative ? Until you can answer that you are howling at the moon .
 
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Ron in Regina

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From yesterday: http://nationalpost.com/news/canada...ves-at-former-saskatchewan-residential-school
“The number of unmarked graves will be the most significantly substantial to date in Canada,” says an advisory published Wednesday evening by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, which represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

From today: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saska...eval-indian-residential-school-news-1.6078375
The Cowessess First Nation announced a preliminary finding Thursday of 751 unmarked graves at a cemetery near the former Marieval Indian Residential School. Delorme said there may have at one point been markers for the graves. He said the Roman Catholic church, which oversaw the cemetery, may have removed markers at some point in the 1960s. He said some of the remains discovered may be people who attended the church or were from nearby towns.

From today: http://globalnews.ca/news/7978394/canada-residential-school-criminal-charges/
Delorme further clarified during the press conference that the Saskatchewan discoveries are unmarked graves, not a mass gravesite. Then further down in the same story is: “A mass grave is a crime scene, it is not a historic site or a heritage site,” Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond told Global News earlier in June.

In an interview, Bolen recounted conversations with Cowessess members, who told him an oblate priest (?) used a bulldozer to destroy tombstones in the 1960s.
 

Mowich

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Sucks to be you 😂😂

I haven’t watched Canadian TV in years

Sling TV man

View attachment 9193

I mean get a VPN and $50 USD per month.

OH, Canada and the Church are responsible for the deaths of those children, but that was years ago

Canada still is the best country in the World and Happy Canada Day to you too
Yeah, Boom you're right ...........sometimes it does suck to be me but I get over it. ;)

The Canada of today bears no responsibility to the harm done in the far past. Canadians bear no responsibility for the harms done in the past. Those we have welcomed to our shores from foreign countries especially those fleeing wore torn countries bear no responsibility.

Do we as a country have an obligation to do the best we can to help First Nations? We most certainly do.

And IMO the best thing we can do as Canadians is support all efforts to rid Canada and all First Nations communities of the Indian Act. There is no legitimate reason that First Nations should not be able to own their own land - none, especially in this day and age. The main barrier to striking the Act from the books is the AFN. In addition, the Transparency Act needs to be re-instated and every single band needs to be held accountable for their finances.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I might just entertain the notion that these 'discoveries' were very well-planned and very well-timed.................especially with the talk of a Federal election in the air.