Canada: Numerous unmarked graves have been found in Aboriginal boarding schools

Canada: Numerous unmarked graves have been found in Aboriginal boarding schools
Aboriginal Leader: Jenny Wolverine during a results press conference on Wednesday.

93 unmarked graves have been found in a former boarding school in Canada. They are believed to belong to 79 children and 14 newborns.


Let me be clear: This is not a definitive number. Jenny Wolverine, leader of the Aboriginal community of the English River First Nation, says it is sad that there are more, and that there is only one. CBS.

This week, the Aboriginal group found 93 unmarked graves at the former Buffale Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan. The school was in operation between 1897 and 1983.

Graves were found in a georadargeoradarThis technology is known as “Ground Penetrating Radar” – GPR. Ground penetrating radars send a signal through the soil and, according to the Norwegian Defense Research Institute, are often used to detect layers and various objects underground. The research is believed to be descended from 79 children and 14 infants.

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Don McIntyre, who helped lead the search, told CBS that the search area was determined based on what survivors of the school said, and that they consulted about the school’s cemetery and nearby areas.

– Since we looked at an actual burial site where there are also marked graves, we can compare the unmarked graves with these graves. They looked exactly alike, she says.

Shocking discoveries: In this school, the remains of 215 children were found in June 2021.

Widespread scandal

The discovery of the remains is the latest of many gruesome discoveries in Canada in recent years. The background is the treatment of children belonging to the country’s various indigenous communities in boarding schools that were supposed to integrate them into Canadian society.

The scale of the scandal has really become apparent in 2021:

It is believed that more than 150,000 children from Aboriginal families in Canada were sent to these boarding schools from the late 1800s through the 1990s to become “good Christians”, as part of a program for their assimilation into Canadian society.

Read more about boarding schools at VG+: The shocking story behind Canada’s tragedy

Christian boarding schools were funded by the state, and children had to convert to Christianity. Nor were they allowed to speak their mother tongue.

Numerous cases of physical and psychological abuse have also been reported in schools, and in all it is estimated that around 6,000 children never returned to their families, he writes. AP news agency.

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Children’s experiences in schools are highlighted as one explanation why many of those living on Indigenous reservations in the country today suffer from psychological problems and abuse of alcohol and drugs.

The Pope has apologized

In 2021, several experts and indigenous leaders have called for the need to protect the areas around other boarding schools, so that similar searches can be conducted there. They also asked the government to fund necessary equipment, such as ground-penetrating radars and drones.

Canada’s CBS wrote that “everyone” knows there are more remains there.

In all, indigenous groups across the country have found about 1,300 unmarked graves in former boarding schools, NTB writes.

In 2015, the Truth and National Reconciliation Commission called the practice “cultural genocide”.

The schools were run by the Canadian government and the Catholic Church, with the stated aim of “killing the Indian” in a child’s heart.

In April 2022, Pope Francis apologized on behalf of the Church to a delegation of indigenous people in the Vatican. The Canadian government first apologized in 2008.

– We’ve heard “We’re sorry”. Now we want to see action. And that means we have to continue to get the children we’ve lost back into boarding schools, Aboriginal leader Jenny Wolverine tells CBS on Wednesday.


Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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